Future of St. Lawrence Zinc in Question


It's been almost three years since St. Lawrence Zinc idled it's mining operation, putting close to 200 miners out of work.

At the time the price of zinc had dropped to about $.80 cents per pound. Now, despite the changing economy and a zinc price that has rebounded to $1.09 per pound, the mine still remains in maintenance mode with no immediate sign of reopening.

Industry analysts say while zinc demand is rising, it's not enough to create a supply crunch that could help boost prices.
Even though the mine's parent company, HudBay, finished 2010 with net earnings of $73 million; up a whopping 475% compared to the previous year, corporate officials say zinc processing at the Balmat mine won't resume anytime soon.

Vice President John Vincinc tells us the company reviews it's assets on a regular basis to see if there are ways to optimize the value. In his words, "With regards to the Balmat Mine, there are no plans at this time to restart operations at the mine."

County Industrial Development  Agency Executive Director Raymond Fountain says stable and higher zinc prices are necessary to allow resuming production at the mine to be profitable.

"You need consistent pricing so that you can plan for the future and know you'll have a marketable product at a price that will allow you to be open and be profitable," says Fountain
Officials say if and when HudBay decides to restart it's Balmat operation, the number of workers brought back on the job are expected to be substantially less than the number let go in August 2008.

Friday, December 9, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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