Antimony mine closes in central Newfoundland, citing COVID-19 struggles | CBC Information

Antimony mine closes in central Newfoundland, citing COVID-19 struggles | CBC News

An antimony mine in central Newfoundland has suspended its operations and laid off virtually all its workers, saying it isn’t financially possible to function through the persevering with COVID-19 pandemic.

Administration at Beaver Brook Antimony Mine made the “extraordinarily tough resolution” to shut up on Tuesday, shedding most individuals on its payroll, Website Supervisor Shane Osmond mentioned in a information launch.

“The vast majority of our valued workforce have been sadly laid off,” he mentioned.

The assertion mentioned extra layoffs can be coming within the subsequent week.

“This isn’t a choice we take frivolously and totally perceive the ensuing impacts on our workforce and native communities,” Osmond mentioned within the assertion.

The mine, 43 kilometres exterior of Glenwood, reopened in 2019 after years on hiatus due to Chinese language buyers. Upon its reopening, the mine had an anticipated lifespan of three-and-a-half years and made its first cargo in June 2019.

It had greater than 100 individuals on its payroll when in full swing, however its success was short-lived.

The mine’s potential to function in 2020 was hampered by COVID-19, Osmond mentioned, with manufacturing quickly paused in March as public well being restrictions hit the province, after which restarted in July at a restricted capability.

However the second wave of COVID-19 sweeping throughout Canada and the globe, mixed with “important unfavourable impacts the disaster has had on our monetary scenario” together with elevated prices to function in winter imply the corporate can not function at the moment.

“We have now to date taken each affordable measure to forestall this suspension however have been sadly unable to take action,” Osmond mentioned.

Hope for reopening

The closure is probably not everlasting, as Osmond mentioned the corporate will proceed to “assess the viability of restarting the mission” all through the upcoming winter and spring.

The pinnacle of a non-profit mining affiliation in Newfoundland and Labrador referred to as the shutdown “unlucky,” however Ed Moriarity mentioned that hope stays for a reopening.

“I’m heartened, a minimum of, by the notion that the corporate has famous that they have not given up on the operation,” Moriarity, the manager director of Mining Trade NL, instructed CBC Information.

A couple of individuals on the mine nonetheless have their jobs to maintain tabs on the scenario and fulfil obligations like environmental duties, in line with the Beaver Brook launch.

Moriarity mentioned pandemic-caused disruptions to world provide chains, moderately than public well being restrictions, are doubtless at play and have brought about sluggish demand for antimony, a mineral utilized in plenty of industries, together with the manufacturing of batteries, bullets, glass, pottery and cosmetics.

“Our affiliation is actually monitoring the scenario fastidiously, and any assist we will do to assist additional market entry or to raised perceive the alternatives when it comes to the antimony deposit, right here and around the globe, we would be completely satisfied to take part and assist,” he mentioned.

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