Operations 'under review' at Caribou mine near Bathurst following poor quarterly report
Trevali Mining says equipment and operator availability have led to 'low productivity rates'
A mining company says its operations near Bathurst, N.B. are "under review" following a period of low productivity rates.
Trevali Mining Corporation released its second-quarter 2022 financial results, which showed the company suffered a 44 per cent decrease in revenue over the previous quarter, with its Caribou mine, located just west of Bathurst, being partly to blame.
"Caribou's full-year production and cost guidance has been suspended and the operation is under review, following continued operational performance issues due to low productivity rates and equipment and operator availability, from the mining contractor," said Trevali, in its quarterly report.
The Vancouver-based company says a tragic flooding event at its Perkoa mine in Burkina Faso back in April also cost the company $15.2 million and operations at that mine remain on hold.
The company says it also won't be able to meet a Wednesday deadline to pay a $7.5-million debt to one of its lenders.
The poor quarterly result led to shares for Trevali dropping by about 54 per cent on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday.
Rumours of layoffs have circulated in the New Brunswick community, said Bathurst West-Beresford MLA Rene Legacy.
"I was given some information from an investor that said the Caribou [mine] would not be able to meet a financial engagement for liquidity," Legacy said.
"And then I've heard through the community that potentially some people have been laid off as of today, but we have no official notice."
The company mines for zinc, lead and silver at the property about 50 kilometres west of Bathurst.
In 2020, Trevali halted production at the mine, citing plunging prices for zinc during the COVID-19 pandemic, and resulting in 250 employees and 80 contractors being laid off.
In an email to CBC News, the director of investor relations with Trevali did not say whether anyone had been laid off from work at the mine but hinted that the operation is in trouble.
"We re-opened the Caribou mine in January 2021 with the hope and intention that the mine would be successfully operating for at least two full years; however, challenges for the mine have continued," said Jason Mercier.
"As a result, the Caribou operation is under review, and we are looking at available options that make sense in the context of Trevali's overall business and financial situation. During this time, the only employees at site will be those who are conducting tasks related to the current work status."
Mercier said the decision is not a reflection of the team at the Caribou mine, adding that looking ahead, Trevali is considering all options to "chart a more sustainable future."
With files from Alexandre Silberman and Pascal Raiche-Nogue
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