Huckleberry Mines is an open pit copper/molybdenum mine located approximately 87 km west of Burns Lake. The mine started commercial production in October 1997.

Huckleberry Mine considers temporary suspension

20 workers were laid off through a restructuring of the Huckleberry Mine.

In the story ‘Huckleberry Mine lays off 20 employees’ published in the Lakes District News’ Dec. 2 issue, 20 workers were laid off through a restructuring of the Huckleberry Mine.

According to Randall Thompson, Chief Operating Officer at Huckleberry Mine, the company has been facing higher operating costs and a drop in copper prices.

Last week, Thompson said the company is now weighing its options to address the continuous decline in copper price, including the possibility of a temporary suspension for three months. However, Thompson did not provide a timeline of when the temporary suspension would likely take place.

“Huckleberry Mine is focused on the safety of its employees especially during the holiday season,” said Thompson in a statement.

“Slowdown may be structural rather than purely cyclical,” says UBC professor

Copper prices have been falling for the last few years. In fact, on Nov. 23, 2015, copper traded below the $2 U.S. level on Canadian markets, a low not seen since 2009.

Giovanni Gallipoli, Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, explained that copper prices have been falling due to a general slowdown in aggregate demand around the world, and notably in China.

“Simply put, the world economy is not growing as fast as it was, at least as compared to the period before 2008,” he said. “Prices are set internationally, so changes in the demand of large consumers such as China, the U.S., or Western Europe are immediately reflected in the price paid to producers.”

Since copper is widely used in manufacturing, when manufacturing growth slows down or goes negative, metals such as copper are one of the first commodities to suffer. Gallipoli explained that when the price goes low enough, producers try to reduce their production costs and often this is reflected in reductions of the labor force.

“This is unfortunately what is happening in many places in which copper is produced, not only in Canada but also in South America,” he explained. “The bad news is that small communities in Canada are suffering disproportionately from this commodity price plunge because they rely more heavily on extraction and processing of natural resources.”

During an open house and presentation at the Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 26, 2015, Kyler Hardy, President of Equitas Resources Corp., said the mining industry is “very much a boom and bust cycle industry” – with periods of extreme wealth creation and periods of extreme wealth destruction.

However, Gallipoli says the current slowdown has some features that may be called “structural” rather than purely “cyclical.” He explained that China is transiting from being an emerging economy to the stage of a more mature economy.

“This transition is always painful and is usually accompanied by a sharp drop in growth rates,” said Gallipoli. “The U.S. economy might pick up some of the slack in world growth, but this may take a year or two.”

“While I hope things may stabilize and get better, I am not overly optimistic,” he added

 

Just Posted

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

Burns Lake Fire Department donates equipment

The gear is helping fire departments in developing countries

John Rustad weighs in on electoral reform in B.C.

“Proportional representation is not the answer,” he says

Rio Tinto aids student career prospects

Money to support existing and new initiatives

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

Initiation tournament in Burns Lake

The littlest Burns Lake Bruins hosted a tournament at the Tom Forsyth… Continue reading

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

Via Rail’s unofficial travelling art program

Jasper-Prince Rupert train has a car dedicated to art offered by the one-of-a-kind Bruce Brown

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Most Read