Early in 2019, Sherritt announced that its refinery in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, reached 3 billion pounds of finished nickel production since operations first began in 1954.
“As one of Canada’s oldest mining companies, we are proud of this important milestone,” said David Pathe, CEO and President of Sherritt International. “It serves as a testament to the refinery’s dependability over the past 65 years, and the ability of our employees to adapt to changes in the industry and introduce innovations that have enabled Sherritt to maintain our leadership position as a producer of low-cost, high-quality nickel.”
The Fort Saskatchewan refinery was constructed in 1954 and initially processed feed from Sherritt’s Lynn Lake mine in Manitoba. Today, the Fort Saskatchewan refinery processes mixed sulphides produced through the Moa Joint Venture, which was created in 1994 and in which Sherritt maintains a 50% partnership interest, to produce Class 1 nickel in briquette and powder forms. Class 1 nickel is the purest form of nickel and is particularly suited for applications that require high-purity levels, such as electric vehicle batteries.
In 2018, the Fort Saskatchewan refinery produced 30,708 tonnes of finished nickel (100% basis) and produced 3,234 tonnes of finished cobalt (100% basis) as a by-product. Finished nickel and cobalt produced at the Fort Saskatchewan refinery are sold to international customers, primarily in Europe, Japan and China, for use in stainless steel applications, specialty alloys and assorted battery types.