Yukon Zinc announced Thursday it is laying off workers and cutting production at its Wolverine Mine due to falling zinc and silver prices.

In a news release, Yukon Zinc said it will reduce its production by 40 per cent and workforce by 30 per cent to reduce costs.

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Yukon Zinc announced Thursday it is laying off workers and cutting production at its Wolverine Mine due to falling zinc and silver prices. (CBC)

The company plans to operate its mill processing for two week periods with two weeks of maintenance to conserve power.  It said underground mine operations will be cut to a single shift daily with about half the existing manpower.

Mining exploration in the territory is already slumping badly compared to last year.

Michael Kokiw, executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines, said the situation could get worse, especially over the short term, as investors look for safer places to put their money away from the mining industry.

Gold prices hit a three year low earlier this week, and Koikw said the plunge affected everyone from large operating mines in Yukon to the smallest placer miner out on the creeks.