Hundreds of job reductions are expected at Hudbay’s Flin Flon operations by 2019 or 2020, with the company hoping retirements and a proposal to maintain the zinc plant can minimize job losses.
While Hudbay has developed projections around job losses and layoffs, Daniel Weinerman, manager of investor relations and corporate communications, stressed all figures under discussion are preliminary estimates.
At best, the news will mean a reduction of approximately 500 jobs: Hudbay estimates 200 will come from layoffs, with the rest from attrition as workers leave or retire. At worst, Flin Flon could lose 800 to 900 jobs, leaving the city with a small fraction of the company’s Manitoba workforce.
“Our goal is to play our part in managing one of the most significant changes for Flin Flon in decades,” said Weinerman. “As a business, we need an economic outcome that supports our business, but we also hope everyone will see we are striving for the best outcome for employees and the community, too.”
Hudbay employees learned of the company’s plans in face-to-face meetings this week. “There’s no good news here. There’s no good news whatsoever,” said Rene Beauchamp, a long-time Hudbay employee and president of its machinists’ union.
The eventual layoffs will impact workers in both the mining and surface departments. Reed mine, located between Flin Flon and Snow Lake, is slated for closure in late 2018. Hudbay says 777 mine, its only Flin Flon mine, is expected to shut down in 2019 or 2020.
When 777 closes, the Flin Flon metallurgical complex, which includes the mill and zinc plant, will lose a major source of feed.
The mill will then shut down, but Hudbay has a plan that, if successful, would keep the zinc plant running at a reduced capacity, processing ore from the Lalor mine near Snow Lake. At that point, Lalor would be Hudbay’s only northern Manitoba mine.
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