As Hudbay commences a new chapter as a truly international company, David Garofalo is taken aback by the whispers of concern.
From Flin Flon and Snow Lake come worries that with his full-throttle expansion into Peru, and eventually the southern US, Garofalo is forsaking Hudbay’s traditional heartland in northern Manitoba.
“I’m surprised to hear it because when I was hired the first thing I did was put two mines into construction in Manitoba before we put any money into work anywhere else,” says Garofalo with a gentle laugh.
Those two mines, of course, are the massive Lalor mine near Snow Lake and its much smaller cousin, Reed mine, situated between Snow Lake and Flin Flon.
Between them the mines cost about $500 million and helped solidify Hudbay’s longer-term presence in northern Manitoba.
Hudbay is now working to expand known reserves at Lalor, its preeminent Manitoba asset, but the real wild card is Flin Flon’s 777 mine.
Thanks to a deal completed last year, Hudbay is able to drill, and eventually purchase, the War Baby deposit in the middle of the 777 property.
By his nature Garofalo seems to be a glass-half-full guy, but he refuses to sugarcoat the situation.
“We’re trying to extend the  mine life,” he says. “And you know, I’m very concerned, quite frankly, about the sunset [closure] potential for 777 and we don’t want to lose employment and we don’t want to lose our business in Flin Flon, but we are running short on time at 777.
“We have to get going. We can’t put [ore] in the ground. God put it in the ground. If it’s there we’ll find it, but we may have to manage a sunset scenario in Flin Flon, and that’s my biggest concern.”
From that worst-case scenario, Garofalo shifts back to Snow Lake, a community to which many Flin Flonners commute to work at Lalor.
For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.thereminder.ca/news/local-news/flin-flon-region-remains-key-for-growing-hudbay-1.1866003