Friday, September 12, 2008

Goldcorp "suspending operations" at Pamour

Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines announced today it is suspending operations indefinitely at the Pamour Open Pit mining operation, because of the dropping price of gold and rising price of fuel and other supplies needed to run the mine. The company says the work suspension will come in early 2009, once the current mining stage is completed.
The Pamour Open Pit was brought online two years ago, after Goldcorp spent hundreds of millions of dollars to move the move part of Three Nations Lake to access part of the historic Pamour orebody that was below the lake and under the old section of Highway 101.
In a news release, the company said “Porcupine Gold Mines operating margins have been eroded by significant commodity inflation at its open pit operation due in part to the large volumes of fuel, steel and tires it consumes. Gold prices have dropped more than 30 per cent since earlier highs, cash costs in the open pit have almost doubled in less than two years and planned ore grades have not been achieved.”
The company has not indicated anything about layoffs, but the news release indicates that Goldcorp will try to relocate the Pamour workers into other Goldcorp operations in Timmins, which includes the Hoyle Pond Mine, the Dome Mine and the Hollinger project. The company says existing ore stockpiles will continue to be sent to the Porcupine mill, also known as the Dome mill.
“There are roughly 160 employees working in conjunction with the open pit, maintenance, engineering and geology; over 80 of whom will be retained for mill maintenance and to mine ore from stockpiles. At this time we anticipate that existing openings at the Porcupine and other Goldcorp operations will allow re-deployment of an additional 30 people,” the news release stated.
“As Pamour mining activities slow down in the first half of 2009 we will continue to look for positions to re-deploy the remainder of the workforce for whom we currently do not have opportunities,” the company news release continued.
“The Porcupine mill will continue at full production by replacing Pamour open pit ore with significant ore stockpiles that have been generated over the past 14 years of open pit mining. Following the completion of mining operations the workforce will be reduced to a size commensurate with re-handling stockpiles,” the company said.
“We wanted to ensure our employees had as much notice as possible and we will take the transition time we have to look for new opportunities to retain our people. Porcupine’s other operations and projects require people and we need to focus our efforts on those operations to ensure they continue to be competitive under any market conditions.” The release was signed by Chris Cormier, Mine General Manager Porcupine Gold Mines.

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