In 2020, global shutdowns were advertised, pushed and praised by government officials and multinational organizations around the world. Ultimately, as communist ideals and decrees seeped into the fabric of society, these lockdowns were rejected by the majority of the people.
However, in 2022, the SHUTDOWNS have been taking place discreetly, stealthily, as entire industries come under siege. Anti-carbon, anti-fertilizer, anti-oil and anti-meat policies have taken their toll. War time sanctions against Russia are creating serious economic blow back. Moreover, food manufacturing plants are being burned to the ground and driven into bankruptcy all around the world. Aluminum, copper, iron and steel producers are also being taken down at an alarming rate all around the world. (Related: As energy costs soar, steel production in Europe on verge of collapse which will have catastrophic ripple effects across global economy.)
Here is a list of some of the most recent take-downs of aluminum and copper smelters, iron and steel producers, and various mineral producers.
Reduced production and complete shutdowns are taking place globally for iron, steel, aluminum, copper, zinc, gold
- UNIPROMKAP, the only aluminum smelter in Montenegro, was shut down permanently after failing to pay for the rising cost of electricity. The electricity provider could not provide an economical price for electricity, forcing the aluminum smelter to shut its doors for good.
- MMG LTD LAS BAMBAS, a copper mine in Peru, went offline in February 2022. Activists blocked the road to the mine, shuttering its operations.
- ARCELORMITTAL SA, a formerly large Ukrainian steel plant, shuttered its operations in March after several foreign companies buckled under pressure to Russia’s invasion — rendering the steel plant uneconomical.
- Liberty Steel’s mill at Rotherham in the U.K. could not keep up with rising electricity costs and had no choice but to stop production entirely.
- The SALZGITTERAG Steel Producer in Germany significantly reduced its smelting operations in March at their Peine plant, laying off many workers in the process.
- The ARCELORMITTAL SA’S SESTAO Steel Plant in Olaberria, Spain was forced to close back in March after enduring high electricity costs. Operations have been intermittent since.
- High energy costs also forced the Celsa Group to cut back on steel production in Barcelona. Their furnaces operate intermittently, as the mill adapts to spikes in energy prices.
- The Acerinox Steel Plant, the largest steel producer in Spain, went offline in March. The company has since shuttered its operation in Cadiz.
- The Southern Copper Corps Cuajone Mine, the second largest copper producer in Peru, suspended operations after activists cut off the company’s water and railroad access.
- CODELCO’S VENTANASC, a leading copper smelter in Chile, closed its Ventanas smelter, after the ecological controller reported multiple sicknesses in the workforce.
- The ACCIAIERIE D’ITALIA Steel Mill from Italy shut down nearly all operations after production costs became insurmountable. The company has only one blast furnace still in operation.
- NORSK HYDRO, a prominent aluminum smelter in Europe, shuttered its plant in Slovakia in August of 2022. Electricity prices continue to put pressure on aluminum smelters across Europe.
- The Columbia Steel Casting Company from Portland, Oregon shut down it factory it October, putting an end to an operation that was more than a century old.
- The Talum aluminum smelter is reducing its aluminum production by 20% due to the energy costs. Production is also dropping by double digits for several foundries, including Dundee Precious Metals from Bulgaria, Oz Minerals from Australia, BHP Group, an iron ore producer from Australia, Aura Minerals, a gold producer from Honduras, Vale SA from Brazil, Fortress Minerals from Malaysia, First Quantum Minerals from Canada, and Anglo-American copper smelting operations from South Africa, Cameroon, Brazil and Australia.
The repercussions of these climate shutdowns will be felt globally in 2023 and beyond.