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TROY - Workers at Troy Mine will not be laid off as planned next month, thanks to higher metals prices, increased ore production and falling operational costs.

"We're going to stay open, as long as we can remain profitable," said Carson Rife, vice president of operations at Revett Minerals Inc.

Last month, Revett issued a 60-day notice to all 185 employees at Troy Mine, warning that a full closure was expected by Feb. 12. On Thursday, Rife said the mine "will operate at least through February, and it looks fairly good for March. But we're going to be making some month-by-month decisions for a while."

In addition, Rife said, operating costs finally are dropping. Diesel fuel prices are falling, he said, as is the cost of steel used in grinding balls at the mill.

Another big contributor to profitability is a voluntary 10 percent wage cut, absorbed by workers last December. Corporate management accepted a 20 percent salary reduction.

Troy Mine produces silver and copper, which had skyrocketed in value during the lead-up to the current recession.

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