Rubicon Minerals Corporation announced a temporary layoff of 330 employees Tuesday, as the company suspends activity at its Phoenix Gold Project in Red Lake, Ont.

In a news release, Rubicon president Michael Winship says the company still believes in the potential of the project but will stop underground work while it develops a plan that is more profitable.

Winship said the company has discovered that the gold deposit is more "geologically complex" than thought.

"Our job is to maximize value for our shareholders," he said. "After conducting an initial assessment of the Project following my appointment as interim CEO, we believe that we need to better define the value of the deposit with further work."

Rubicon controls over 250 square kilometres of exploration ground in Red Lake's gold district. The layoff represents 87 per cent of the company's employees.