Aging infrastructure to blame for impending closure of Dome gold mine in Timmins

Porcupine Gold Mines says it plans to shut down its Dome mine in Timmins, Ont., by December. The company says the mine's aging infrastructure made it difficult for it to remain profitable. The mine currently has 140 employees.

Company says it will do all it can to help 140 affected employees

Porcupine Gold Mines says it's Dome gold mine in Timmins, Ont., is slated to shut down by December due to aging infrastructure at the site. (Radio-Canada)

The city of Timmins, Ont., is losing one of its gold mining operations.

Porcupine Gold Mines (PGM) announced Tuesday that its Dome underground operation will be shutting down in December.

The decision to shut down was difficult, but necessary says Marc Lauzier, the mine's general manager.

He says aging infrastructure made it difficult for the mine to remain profitable, adding there is not enough reserves left to make any significant investment.

"It's been opened since 1910. The remaining resources are a lot more challenging given that the infrastructure is getting old. The productivities are very difficult, and we don't have the grades to sustain the profitability anymore."

Lauzier says the company is doing what it can to help the 140 employees who work at the site.

"So about 12 per cent of our work force. That includes some unionized hourly workers, some staff and some contract workers."

He says part of why the company announced the closure now was so they would have a few months to figure out what to do to save as many jobs as they can.

"Part of it is we want to optimize the PGM operations, so that we can attract investment from the company, to do some of the bigger projects we want to do," says Lauzier.

"We just have to show the company we can operate this project wisely, and this is one of those decisions we have to make in order to make that happen."

Parent company Goldcorp says it is still committed to its other operations in the Timmins area.

With files from Casey Stranges