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home : latest news : local April 28, 2016

9/6/2013 6:00:00 AM
40 workers laid off at Mineral Park Mine
Price of molybdenum blamed

Kim Steele
Miner Staff Reporter

GOLDEN VALLEY - Mineral Park Mine cut its workforce by 10 percent, or 40 employees, Wednesday in an effort to lower costs and remain open long-term, according to the company's general manager.

Joe Campbell, who has been in charge of the mine for about a year, said Thursday the permanent reduction was necessary because of slow economic conditions.

The company, which bills itself as northern Arizona's largest copper and molybdenum mine, also is looking at other options for saving money, including additional financing or merging with another mine.

"We're both a copper and molybdenum mine, which is important to remember because we depend on the prices of both metals, not just one," said Campbell. "The price of copper has been good, but there has been a 22 percent drop in molybdenum since January.

"The price will go back up at some point, but no one knows when. Until then, we're looking at multiple ways to ride this out."

Currently, molybdenum is selling for about $9.50 a pound, said Campbell. Last year, it sold for about $13 a pound, and when Mercator Minerals bought the mine in 2007, molybdenum was about $30 a pound. Mineral Park Mine, located at 8275 N. Mineral Park Road, is an open pit copper mine with an estimated 20-year life expectancy remaining as of June.

Its stated goals for 2013 are to produce 93 million pounds of copper equivalent, 11 million pounds of molybdenum and 620,000 ounces of silver.

The job cuts took place in all departments, said Campbell, and management talked with the employees before they were let go to make sure they understood the reduction had nothing to do with their performance. Campbell said the other cost-saving options - additional financing and mergers - are possibilitie, but nothing has been decided yet.

"This is unfortunate, but it's the nature of mining," said Campbell. "We took the reduction very seriously because it affected a lot of families. We don't want to do it, but we need to keep our doors open and as many employees working as possible until the price of molybdenum goes up again."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Article comment by: Too Hot

"trained observer"

Production of domestic oil and natural gas has surged in recent years as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have opened new fields and allowed renewed production from formations that had seemed depleted.

President Obama has strongly endorsed the new production as a boon to the economy and energy security.

source: nytimes

Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Article comment by: lol lol

@sd that's a good one. I doubt it too.

Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Article comment by: trained observer

Call Dick Cheney and see if Halliburton wants to buy it so they can frack something. After all that only uses 3 gallons of water to get one gallon of whatever they are looking for.

Posted: Saturday, September 7, 2013
Article comment by: S D

Does this mean mineral park will start paying there bills??? Haha i doubt it!

@ gun owner
like Chevrolet did? but wait didn't Obummer bail them out?? What a joke!

Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013
Article comment by: John Hardgraves

This just another example of the failed policies of the Obama administration. With over regulation, taxation and the pending disaster of Obama Care a company has little choice to lay off hard working people to survive.

Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013
Article comment by: David Hobbs

In 1980 when Duval Corp. closed and dismantled the Mineral Park mine it was due to the price of copper. The American market was flooded by cheep copper from South America, mainly Chile.We could no longer compete so there were 400 plus jobs lost in kingman alone fazed out over a year starting with the last 100 first. My advice to all you miners is to watch the copper and moly prices on the metals market, and look for work.

Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013
Article comment by: gun owner 000

@ Rick
If the mine follows the current trends, they will move the mine offshore, and have the Chinese operate it.

Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013
Article comment by: THE TEA PARTY IS ON KOCH

@rick o'shea

Would not now be the time for a teapublican expert to come into Mohave County and offer these forty employees one of the new millions of jobs they said they were going to create?

Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013
Article comment by: justanobody sr

this means they are damaging less of the natural resources? and using less of the limited water available?
do you think maybe someone with a higher power is telling you (mineral mine) something?
I doubt it , as the might $$ is too important.

Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013
Article comment by: Jim Tompkins

Re: 40 Workers laid off at Mineral Park Mine

Why have there been no layoffs at the corporate level? The offices in Vancouver do not generate any cash flow and represent a cost burden to the operation!!

Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

It sucks to lose a job, maybe the mine will follow the current trend among other companies and just hire part-timers to avoid the costs of ObamaCare.

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