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Nickel concentrate spills at Vale after storage tank fails

Tank failed just before 6 a.m. and material spilled into the parking lot near the main entrance to the concentrator.
vale manitoba operations T1 & Concentrator 2020 thompson
The T1 headframe and concentrator at Vale’s Manitoba Operations site in Thompson. Nickel concentrate slurry spilled from a tank inside the concentrator in the early morning Sept. 10 and cleanup is expected to continue over the weekend.

Nickel concentrate slurry spilled on Vale Manitoba Operations property this morning when a storage tank failed, the company says.

The tank failure occurred around 5:50 a.m. and resulted in nickel concentrate, which contains about 17 per cent nickel, spilling into the parking lot near the main entrance to the concentrator.

No one was injured as a result of the spill and the material was contained on the site and poses no risk to employees or contractors.

Cleanup of the area began immediately and is expected to continue over the weekend. While it continues, traffic into Vale’s plant site will be reduced to a single lane.

Manitoba Conservation and Climate’s Environment Emergency Response Team was notified of the incident and all parties are working to ensure a safe and complete cleanup, Vale says.

The cause of the storage tank failure is also being investigated.

The concentrator is the first stage of separating nickel ore from waste at Vale Manitoba Operations.

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