The Yukon Zinc Corp. has shut down its Wolverine Mine southeast of Ross River, resulting in layoff notices for most of its workforce.
The Yukon Zinc Corp. has shut down its Wolverine Mine southeast of Ross River, resulting in layoff notices for most of its workforce. Company spokesman Alex Wu told the Star today operations were terminated last Thursday because of instability in the mineral markets, particularly the price of silver.
Wu could not confirm the exact number of employees affected but expected Yukon Zinc would have an official statement in the next couple of days. The Chinese-owned company is calling it a temporary, three-month shutdown at this point, he said.
“We will see what the situation is in the next couple of months and make a decision to see if there is an opportunity to start up or keep it closed for a bit longer,” Wu said. “We were trying to keep it going longer, but it is down to the point where it is pretty difficult to keep things going.”
Wu said the company has been in contact with its suppliers and is working on new plans to raise the financing to address outstanding debt.
A crew has been kept on to look after care and maintenance of the mine site and mill during the shutdown, he said. Watson Lake Mayor Richard Durocher said this morning he’s already seeing the trickle-down effect in the Yukon’s third-largest community of approximately 1,500.
A couple of houses being rented by employees of Sidhu Trucking, which had the ore haul contract from the mine to the port at Stewart, B.C., have already been vacated, he pointed out.
The mayor said the change in the amount of activity in town is noticeable.
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