Inco began exploration in northern Manitoba and discovered the Thompson orebody in 1956. The company built the world's first fully integrated sulphide nickel mining and processing complex at the Thompson orebody site. It officially began production in 1961. In November 2015, Vale announced that it would close its Manitoba smelting and refining operations in 2018, and remain a mining-and-milling facility only. The company's future plans will see it ship nickel concentrate from its mines in Voisey's Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador to a new processing facility at Long Harbour in the same province, instead of shipping to the historic processing sites of Thompson in Manitoba, and Sudbury in Ontario.In 2016 Vale announced that its Thompson operations in Manitoba would move to a single furnace operation from January 2017 due to the loss of feed from Voisey’s Bay.