Company says it will review the situation on an ongoing basis

Gordonsville – The reported layoffs at Nystar Mines in Gordonsville are “in direct response to significantly weakened market conditions and inflationary impacts on input costs and operating margins” and will happen sooner than expected, according to the company.

According to a press release to the Upper Cumberland Business Journal, Nyrstar’s Middle Tennessee Mines in Gordonsville said it will temporarily pause production of operations Nov. 30 due to “thorough review and in direct response to significantly weakened market conditions and inflationary impacts on input costs and operating margins.”

The production pause will force the mine to layoff at least 300 people as the end of the year approaches, but the company says they will offer “some employees” other options.

Nyrstar plans to offer employees “alternative employment opportunities” at its East Tennessee Mines and other mining operations in the U.S., and a “limited number of staff will remain on-site to ensure a safe and efficient ramp down of production activities and transition to essential services.”

“We understand that the decision to pause production at the Middle Tennessee Mines will have a significant impact on our employees, their families and the local community.” said Bill Hart, Nyrstar’s Vice President Environment, Health & Safety, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs for North American Mining. “This decision was not taken lightly, and we acknowledge the challenges this may present. These actions in no way reflect the skills and commitment of our talented team at Middle Tennessee Mines but are a direct response to the current business conditions. We thank all members of our team for their continued support and firmly believe that this pause is necessary in these challenging market conditions to ensure the long-term sustainability and profitability of the mines.

Nystar says it plans to “conduct drilling to explore and “define additional zinc, germanium and gallium resources” during the pause in production in hopes of positioning the company in a place where it can increase the supply to its Clarksville Smelter.

“Once operations resume, the Middle Tennessee Mines -as part of Nyrstar’s Tennessee-based ‘mine to metal’ value chain- will supply diversified critical minerals to the U.S. market,” according to the release. “This will reduce reliance on foreign supply chains and help build a domestic supply chain critical to the U.S. economy, clean energy, high-tech and national security while providing quality jobs in local communities.”

The mining company says it will continue to meet its contractual obligations to the Nystar Smelter in Clarksville with concentrates from its East Tennessee mine’s operations “so that the Nyrstar Clarksville smelter can continue to meet the U.S. demand for domestically produced zinc.” Nyrstar Clarksville is not expected to be affected by the temporary pause in production at the Middle Tennessee Mines’ operations.

The company says it will review the situation on an ongoing basis.

“Production at Middle Tennessee Mines will resume as soon as it is economically viable or once the proposed gallium and germanium production capacity at Nyrstar Clarksville comes online in the next few years,” according to the release.

This is an ongoing story. Check back for updates.

Photo courtesy of Nyrstar.

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