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Byline: Mike Rogoway
May 2--The new owner of the Vanalco site says it will reopen the Vancouver aluminum smelter but doesn't say when.
"We will restart production as soon as market conditions will allow," said Lotti Grenacher, a spokeswoman for Glencore International at the company's headquarters in Baar, Switzerland. She was vague about exactly what it will take to get the smelter open, saying only that Glencore is optimistic about its prospects.
"I think there are lots of criteria, still, but all are very positive."
Glencore paid $24 million last week to buy the 62-year-old Vanalco plant. Grenacher's comments, the first from the Swiss metals company since the deal closed, leave a lot of questions.
But they also suggest the smelter's prospects are brighter than they have been in quite some time.
Vanalco closed in 2000 and filed for bankruptcy, driven out of business by skyrocketing electricity prices. More than 600 Vanalco employees …