Following a comprehensive review of present economics and operations at the Nyrstar Myra Falls zinc and copper mine near Campbell River, it has been decided to temporarily suspend regular mining and milling operations.
Nyrstar officials say they are committed to working in close consultation and within specified agreements with employees, throughout the temporary suspension period. The company will work towards a shared goal of facilitating a restart of operations, depending on the completion of critical milestones during the suspension period.
The comprehensive economic and operational review identified a number of shortcomings across the site which has resulted in a significant deterioration in the performance at Nyrstar Myra Falls over the past 12 months.
“Deficiencies in site infrastructure, planning, operating, and maintenance practices, and inadequate mine development for future mining areas were all identified as topics that needed to be addressed,” said Glenn Smith, Acting Vice President North America for Mining at Nyrstar. “These factors have forced us into a period during which strategic programs and investments need to be assessed, and then implemented. These include such activities as restoration and upgrading of site power infrastructure, and execution of a focussed mine development plan within the mine’s existing footprint,” said Smith.
“We also need to ensure resources with appropriate technical expertise are engaged, to help transition our future operations into an efficient and profitable mine site, able to extract maximum value from the ore body at Myra Falls.”
A number of alternative operating scenarios to address economic and historic issues were evaluated, taking into account all associated operational and financial risks. The evaluation identified temporary suspension as the most effective and practical scenario to enable appropriate resources to be focused on improvements at the site, in readiness for a restart.
Through a dedicated assessment and implementation period, Nyrstar Myra Falls will engage a core group of employees and focus on site optimization with the goal of implementing changes that will substantially improve mine and plant operating conditions.
Restart of operations will be contingent on the completion of a number of critical milestones during the suspension period as outlined above. Consequently, at this stage, Nyrstar senior management is not able to provide a definitive restart date for operations.
Appropriate engagement with all stakeholders has commenced and will continue throughout the suspension period.
“We’re confident that working closely with all stakeholders will help us implement our sustainability program, with the ultimate goal of resuming production activities,” Smith said.
In the interim, management and employees at the Nyrstar Myra Falls mine site remain completely committed to safety and environmental stewardship.