An official from the union representing 70 workers at KGHM International's Podolsky Mine said he's working with the company to save their jobs after the company announced it plans to suspend the mine's operations March 31.
Wes Dowsett, the Steelworkers' northeastern Ontario co-ordinator, said he's been in meetings with the company to try to save as many of the Steelworkers Local 2020 members' jobs as possible.
KGHM was previously known as Quadra FNX before it was bought out by KGHM.
He said a handful of the miners will be able to stay on at Podolsky, as the mine is being put in care and maintenance mode. Others will likely be give jobs at some of KGHM's other local properties — Levack, McCreedy and Craig Mines.
“The company, of course, recognizes that our members have the rights to jobs, in many cases, before contractors,” Dowsett said.
“Part of the exercise is to determine how many of these individuals can actually stay and perform work that's currently being performed by contractors.”
Podolsky Mine, located near Capreol, is a low-grade property, Dowsett said. When commodity prices are down, low-grade mines are normally the ones to get shut down first, because they're the least profitable, he said.
While production is supposed to end at the mine at the end of March, Dowsett said it's possible this date could change.
“I've come to learn that scheduled dates very often get adjusted,” he said.
“Originally it was targeted to go down in September. That extended from September to sometime late in 2013, and that was adjusted to March. But it's not impossible for that date to change again, because the end of March is a long way away.”