Zinc Mine Purchased, Plans To ReopenPosted: Updated:
A Canadian company has purchased the long-closed zinc mine in the Town of Fowler, with plans to reopen it this year.
Eventually, up to 150 jobs could be created, according to a spokesman for Titan Mining Corp.
"We're looking forward to working closely with the community and having people work at the mine that's really had generations of people work there," said Keith Boyle, acting chief operating officer for Titan.
The deal to purchase the former St. Lawrence Zinc mine was completed quietly at the end of last year; since then, the new owners have been testing the mine and have begun hiring people to help reopen the facility.
"We're starting with a contractor.who will be bringing people in and we'll be working with some of the local authorities there to put training programs in place," Boyle said.
According to a press release outlining the sale, the deal involved a million dollars changing hands when the sale closed, and another $2 million over the next two years. In all, it appears the deal is valued at nearly $40 million.
The mine has been closed for nearly a decade, and was sold in 2015 from then-owner HudBay Minerals to Star Mountain Resources, an Arizona company.
Star Mountain sold the mine to Titan Mining.
There have been several false starts for the mine, including the sale in 2015, and officials are cautious about this latest sale - they don't want to declare that it will reopen, or that jobs will come back to hard-pressed southeastern St. Lawrence County.
Still, Gouverneur mayor Ron McDougall said he is "cautiously optimistic that it's a go."
Patrick Kelly, chief operating officer of the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency, said "Having a facility on that scale in production with people working there has a direct economic impact by way of the jobs and the wages."
The sale comes as zinc prices are rising, making mining a more attractive option. Titan started surface drilling in February to determine just how much zinc ore is available.
"We're following up on some very interesting targets which would add to basically an eight- or nine-year mine life," Boyle said.
If it reopens, the company plans to rename the mine as "Empire State Mines."