The futures of more than 1000 employees at a major Queensland mine have been thrown into doubt after mineral giant Glencore announced it would cease operations by 2025.
The Swiss-based mining giant announced on Tuesday plans to shutter the Mount Isa Mines in the state’s Gulf Country after more than 60 years of copper mining in the region.
Glencore said that despite studies into extending the life of the mines, it had proven impossible to do so given the remaining mineral resources were no longer “economically viable”.
Glencore’s Zinc Assets Australia chief operating officer Sam Strohmayr said the decision would be “disappointing” for employees, suppliers, and the Mount Isa community.
“The reality of mining is that mines have a beginning, middle and end. And unfortunately, after 60 years of operation, Mount Isa’s underground copper operations have now reached that end,” he said.
“We want to give our people as much time as possible to consider the best options for them and their families, which is why we are notifying our workers and the community almost two years before these mines close.
“Our focus over the coming months will be to work closely with our people and contractors, our suppliers and the Mount Isa community to provide support as we move towards closure of these assets.”
About 1200 people are employed at the mine and associated copper concentrator and supporting service, though Mr Strohmayr said it was “too early” to put a figure on how many would be made redundant.
“We will work through a process of speaking to each worker and discuss options around retention, redeployment, and retraining. Redundancies are the last resort and will be offered only when other options have been exhausted,” he said.
Mr Strohmayr said Glencore would continue to invest in the long-term future of Mount Isa Mines, including the George Fisher Mine – with a current life of mine to 2036 – zinc-lead concentrator and lead smelter.
“We also expect the copper smelter and refinery to continue operating to 2030, subject to approval of additional capital investment,” Mr Strohmayr said.
“These are important strategic assets, not just for Glencore but for the North West Minerals Province and the future of Queensland’s critical minerals industry.”
https://www.perthnow.com.au/technology/glencore-to-close-mount-isa-mines-1200-jobs-impacted-c-12238322 Glencore to close Mount Isa Mines, 1200 jobs impacted