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Glencore to Spend $400 Million to Fix Arsenic-Emitting Plant

  • Company aims bring down emissions to safer level by 2027
  • The investment represents 0.2% of Glencore’s 2021 revenue
Bits of scrap metal await processing at the Horne copper smelter in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Canada in 2006.
Bits of scrap metal await processing at the Horne copper smelter in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Canada in 2006.Photographer: Norm Betts/Bloomberg

Commodities giant Glencore Plc will invest C$520 million ($403 million) over five years in a copper smelter in northern Quebec to curb toxic emissions that health officials say have caused increased risk of cancer and other problems.

The Horne Smelter has for decades been at the center of the economy in Rouyn-Noranda, a small town 600 kilometers (373 miles) northwest of Montreal. A public health study from 2005 to 2018 showed that arsenic levels on site were 165 nanograms per cubic meter of air. That was 55 times the standard safe level of 3 nanograms.