Longstanding nickel tradition: get to know Vale's refinery in UK

About Vale


Longstanding nickel tradition: get to know Vale's refinery in UK

Clydach Nickel Refinery
Clydach Nickel Refinery

The acquisition of Canadian miner Inco in 2006 brought a series of new countries onto the map of Vale’s business activities. The operations incorporated during this process included nickel refining facilities in Clydach and Acton. Find out more about those refineries:

Clydach Refinery
Acton Refinery

Opened in 1902, Clydach refinery is one of the oldest in the world. Today, the plant produces refined nickel in the form of powder and pellets, sold to more than 280 customers in over 30 countries across Europe, Asia and the USA. The refinery is supplied with nickel oxide, an intermediate product, from Vale’s smelters in the Sudbury region of Canada.

Its current nominal production capacity is 40,000 metric tons per year. The output is transported by truck to end costumers in the United Kingdom and continental Europe. To get to costumers outside Europe, the products are taken by truck to the ports of Southampton and Liverpool and shipped out in containers.

Vale Europe also has a precious metals refinery in the UK. Located in Acton, London, this plant refines intermediate platinum group metal (PGM), gold and silver products processed at our facilities in Port Colborne, Canada. Committed to responsibility, Vale maintains close communication with the regulatory authorities, the local community and customers on subjects related to the environment. The refinery has ISO-14001 and OHSAS 18001 certificates. The latter establishes standards of excellence in health and safety.

International recognition

In early 2014, Clydach refinery won a Shingo Prize silver medal for operational excellence. The Shingo Prizes, created 25 years ago, are considered the “Nobel Prize of industry,” according to US magazine Business Week. This was the first time a UK company had received this recognition.


Reducing waste is one of the major challenges facing Vale’s operations across the world. In Clydach, our employees obtained excellent results in 2011, recovering or recycling 85% of the waste generated in the refinery, including hazardous residues. The next target is to recycle or reuse 100% of the waste generated, including by generating renewable energy, over the coming years.


Longstanding nickel tradition: get to know Vale's refinery in UK