KGHM mothballing Sudbury nickel mine: Company cuts 120 jobs at Morrison Mine.

Author:McKinley, Karen

KGHM, a Polish-owned nickel and copper mining company, is cutting 120 jobs at its Morrison Mine in Sudbury this spring. Low nickel prices are being-blamed.

The news came from the United Steelworkers that 87 unionized and 33 nonunionized positions are being affected.

Myles Sullivan, area coordinator for Northeastern Ontario for Steelworkers Local 2020, said the latest round of cuts will take effect in late March.

The mine, located on the north end of the Sudbury basin, will be placed on care and maintenance. A skeleton crew will remain on site, dewatering and doing necessary repairs on the shaft.

Morrison Mine is located 45 kilometres northwest of Sudbury, near the community of Levack.

"I really feel for these folks," said Sullivan. "This includes management at the company as well.

"Some of these included retirement packages, but for many this means they have to look for work, and those kinds of jobs are not in Sudbury. This could mean a major change for their families."

The KGHM bargaining unit is being reduced to about 100 people. To put that into perspective, when nickel prices were high, the bargaining unit was around 500.

Steve Dunlop, general manager for KGHM's Sudbury operations cited low nickel prices in a statement, which have been hovering around US$5 per pound for months. The decade-long down cycle has affected several other local operations, he said.

"This is not an easy situation for the employees and families impacted. We are a small company and we all know each other quite well. This announcement hasn't been a surprise for many of our people as this is a cyclical industry and we have been openly working with them on solutions to our financial challenges at Morrison, but that certainly...

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