The Port of Quebec has a long relationship with Glencore, providing us with the infrastructure required to meet customer demand. Our facilities at the Port of Quebec are on land leased to us by the Port. They include railway tracks, a storage dome, a screw-type ship-unloading device, enclosed conveyor systems and a number of bag filter dust collectors.
Each year, about 30 ships travel to and from the Port of Quebec, carrying approximately 175,000 tonnes of nickel concentrate and 130,000 tonnes of nickel matte to our facility in Norway. The concentrate from our nickel mine in Northern Quebec is moved through the port and sent to our smelter in Sudbury, Ontario. Once it has been processed there, it is shipped through the port to Nikkelverk, our refinery in Norway.
To ensure the safe handling of products and limit nickel dust emissions during loading, most of the Glencore facilities are enclosed. We have also installed covered conveyors and dust suppression sprayers, and are investing $3 million to further improve the equipment and facilities.
In addition to our improvements to equipment and facilities, we have strengthened our operating procedures, following an in-depth analysis that documented and improved our understanding of our operations. This approach meets the necessary international standards through a four-step process:
- Plan: identify and describe potential emission sources
- Do: schedule proposed improvements
- Check: describe the monitoring procedures and recordkeeping system
- Act: Create guidelines for regularly reviewing best management practices to promote continuous improvement