Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

Umicore’s lead refinery in Hoboken, Belgium, has been temporarily shut down after a fire broke out on March 2.


Nobody was hurt in the fire, Umicore said in a statement, because the refinery had been closed that day for maintenance. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.


The company clarified that while the lead refinery is closed, the rest of the Hoboken plant will operate normally and with its recycling operations unaffected.


Umicore said it advised residents in the area to keep their windows closed to avoid smoke from the fire and that it’s taking emission measurements to minimize air pollution. The company also said it was still assessing damage to the lead refinery to determine how soon it could reopen. 


The latest incident is the third fire in over 30 months at the Hoboken facility, which uses base metals such as lead, copper, and nickel as collectors to recycle precious metals.

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