There will be no layoffs at Gibraltar as Taseko Mines makes changes to its mine plan in order to keep the mine open and running according to the Vice President of Corporate Affairs.
“These are unusual circumstances. Under normal conditions, a change like this to the mine plan would mean the 30 or 40 employees affected would have to be laid-off but we’re not doing that,” says Brian Battison. “We’re not laying those people off, we’re keeping them working. We have identified opportunities for them in other roles at the site.”
The changes to the mine plan will see a temporary curtailment in mining operations and the idling of some mining equipment effective April 1st.
Battison says it will not affect mill operations.
“We’re trying to reduce the overall operating cost associated with the mine and we found a way to do that without laying people off,” he says. ‘These are tough times for everyone.”
“People are anxious, there’s a first-time virus pandemic around the world that’s impacting Canada. Mines are closing in Peru, Chile, some in the United States, and we’ve even experienced some curtailment in mines here in B.C. but those layoffs are not happening at Gibraltar,” Battison continued. “I think that’s attributed to the management up there and to the workforce itself as to find ways to respond to world economic conditions and the declining copper price and to keep the facility open and operating in a safe manner.”
Battison says there are two main priorities for Taseko and for Gibraltar at the moment including protecting their employees, families, and suppliers against COVID-19, and managing the mine under increasingly challenging worldwide economic conditions which includes a dramatic drop in the price of copper.