News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

January 15, 2009


Rondeau Announces Formation of Work Force Adjustment Committee To Help Deal with Chisel Mine, Concentrator Closure

SNOW LAKE - Following the announcement by Hudbay Minerals on Friday, Jan. 9, that it will suspend operations at its Chisel North Mine and its concentrator in Snow Lake, Science, Technology Energy and Mines Minister Jim Rondeau led a provincial delegation here and to Flin Flon today. Members of the delegation are meeting with council members from the respective communities, the union, the company and the workers.  
The delegation will be listening to concerns surrounding the recent Hudbay announcement.  Today, the minister announced the establishment of a Work Force Adjustment Committee to assist impacted employees in the communities.  
“Dealing with job loss is never easy in a community, but what we are doing today is an important step forward in addressing issues stemming from Hudbay’s recent announcement,” said Rondeau.  “We are committed to working with the affected employees, the union and the company to help identify other employment opportunities in northern Manitoba.”
Hudbay’s decision to suspend operations at the Chisel North mine is due to a decline in the price of zinc that has dropped approximately 75 per cent in the last year. The mining industry in Canada and around the world is facing challenges due to the depressed prices of base metals and the global economic downturn.
“By its involvement, the provincial government is showing its commitment to the people of Flin Flon and Snow Lake,” said the minister. “This voluntary Work Force Adjustment Committee is an example of labour and management working together to manage change.”
Rondeau noted the Work Force Adjustment Committee will help mitigate the effect of the mine closure on the community. The expenditures for the committee will be cost shared by the province and Hudbay.
The minister also noted the province has a Mining Community Reserve fund to help mining communities affected by the suspension or closure of mines.  The reserve has been used to fund the Snow Lake Community Economic Development Office after closure of the New Britannia mine in 2005.
The Town of Snow Lake has been working on a Community Sustainable Development Plan that when completed should help the town address the challenges caused by the cyclic nature of the mining industry.  The province and Hudbay have provided funding for the plan’s development.
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