Just one month after Thompson Creek Metals celebrated the commissioning of their new mill expansion at the Endako Mine, 29 temporary employees and 28 summer students have been laid off due to falling molybdenum prices.
According to Jocelyn Fraser, director of corporate responsibility for Thompson Creek Metals, Endako Mine won’t be in a position to bring any students back for work this summer.
“We try to hire summer students each year and we will definitely hope to do that again next summer,” she said.
Most of the temporary workers that were laid off had been brought in to help prepare the new mill at the mine for commissioning. “The mill is now up and running,” Fraser said.
“We were sorry to have to let some of our temporary employees at Endako Mine go. They were a good group and although they were only with us a short time, we appreciate the work they did.”
She said there are a number of factors impacting the company right now including falling molybdenum prices, which are down from US $17 from June 2011, to U.S. $13 in June 2012, a 25 per cent reduction in demand from China, the world’s largest molybdenum user and the continued uncertainty in the global economy.
“Each of these factors is outside of our control and drives a need to carefully consider costs. Mining tends to be a cyclical industry and the company is optimistic that the current downturn will be short lived.”
Following the Babine Forest Products tragedy, Endako Mine hired 38 temporary employees on a contract basis. The original contract was to go until April 30, but was extended until June 30, 2012.
From the 38 employees, 11 were hired full time, eight are still working under a contract basis until Aug. 31, 2012 and of the eight, six have been approved for full time employment.
Three have found permanent employment elsewhere and 16 have completed their contract and finished work on June 30, 2012.
According to Fraser, there is 400 permanent employees currently working at Endako Mine.