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Nyrstar to suspend Quebec zinc-copper mine; 240 jobs impacted

Nyrstar NV said Oct. 14 that its Langlois zinc-copper mine in Quebec will operate on care and maintenance, with production to cease in December, following an in-depth geological and budget analysis.

Nyrstar said the rock conditions have deteriorated to the point where the company considers it uneconomic to continue to mine ore in 2020. Langlois produced 24,000 tonnes of zinc in concentrate in 2018. Commercial production started in 2007, though the mine was placed on care and maintenance in November 2008. Nyrstar acquired the mine in August 2011 and resumed its operations in the second half of 2012.

The company noted that 240 staff members working at the mine will be affected, and a collective dismissal process is underway in cooperation with local labor unions.

Where possible, alternative positions at the company's Myra Falls zinc mine in British Columbia will be offered to staff members, while outplacement services will be made available for those who do not find new positions within the group.

Nyrstar said that while it considers Langlois to be uneconomic for zinc and copper ore extraction, the mine has exploration potential for other metals such as gold, and the company is in active discussions with interested parties.

Some equipment from Langlois will be moved to Nyrstar's Myra Falls and Tennessee mines, where the company will focus its future investments. The company owns and operates the East Tennessee and Middle Tennessee zinc complexes in the U.S. state.