Cantung mine to close Oct. 27, says North American Tungsten

In a letter to N.W.T.'s Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, North American Tungsten says it hopes to reopen the financially troubled mine in the summer of 2016.

Company says it hopes to resume operations in summer 2016

A drilling production stope at the Cantung Mine. In a letter to a regulatory board, Cantung's parent company, North American Tungsten, says its temporarily shutting down operations at the mine on Oct. 27. (North American Tungsten)

North American Tungsten says its Cantung mine on the N.W.T./Yukon border will close temporarily, starting Oct. 27.

In a letter sent to N.W.T. regulators last week, the company says it doesn't know how long the shutdown will last, but says it's "hopeful that the operations will be able to resume in the summer of 2016, if economic and market conditions improve sufficiently."

North American Tungsten is under court-ordered creditor protection. It owes more than $79 million to more than 200 companies. It laid off 50 employees in July. A report by its appointed monitor said the company was "unable to pay current and ongoing operating expenses."

North American Tungsten says after the mine closes, there will be a short clean up period, site deactivation and winterization of the site.

It says a full-time care and maintenance team will be in place at the end of November to continue site monitoring and "ensure that the mine site remains in good condition for the future startup of operations."

The company says it will continue to meet its water licence obligations, including water sampling and reporting.