[KGHM Sudbury] Podolsky Mine closing – by Star Staff (Sudbury Star – January 10, 2013)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

KGHM International Ltd. has begun issuing layoffs to about 70 people who work at Podolsky Mine located north of Capreol.

A company official said Wednesday the mine will close by the end of the first quarter of 2013. The company had originally planned to close the mine by the end of 2012. She said layoffs shouldn’t come as a surprise, since KGHM International Ltd. announced in November plans to shutter the mine.

“There is nothing left to mine,” she said. KGHM International and Steelworkers Local 2020 will now meet to discuss how the layoffs should be implemented.

Quadra FNX — which merged with Polish company KGHM Polska Mied S.A. in 2012 and now operates as a subsidiary, KGHM International Ltd. — began commercial production at Podolsky Mine of copper, nickel, gold, platinum and palladium in 2008.

In November, the company said despite exploration work, it could find no reserves at Podolsky. President and CEO Paul Blythe said then the company decided to focus on its more promising projects.

“We believe the best way to achieve this is by optimizing the opportunities at our two flagship operations, Robinson (in Arizona) and Morrison (in Sudbury), which together contribute over 85% of our operating income, while continuing to deliver on our significant growth pipeline,” Blythe said in a statement.

“We have reviewed our other assets and have concluded that, on a risk-adjusted basis, we should wind down Carlota (a mine located in Arizona) and Podolsky. We have also made significant changes to the mine plan for Franke (in Chile), which will be focused on the China pit that is expected to have lower acid consumption rates.

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