Owner: Fowler Mine Could Employ Hundreds

Owner: Fowler Mine Could Employ Hundreds

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The new owner of the zinc mine in the Town of Fowler says the mine could eventually employ up to 400 people.

More immediately, Titan Mining Corporation expects to have 150 people at work later this year.

Keith Boyle, the acting chief operating officer of Titan Mining, was at the mine Tuesday. Titan Mining employees have been sampling the ground around the mine and have found at least eight years' worth of ore ready to extract, with more near-by.

"There's an old saying: where you find the next mine is beside an old mine," Boyle told 7 News.

Titan quietly purchased the mine at the end of 2016; in all, the deal was worth about $40 million, with a million dollars changing hands on closing day, and another $2 million being paid over the next couple of years.

The zinc mine has been shut down for nearly a decade, and while Titan Mining is welcome in southeastern St. Lawrence County, earlier efforts to open the mine failed, so officials are being cautious about predicting too much success too quickly.

Boyle said he expects the mine to be back in business in the second half of this year: "A few months of startup and then a very quick ramp-up to our production level of 1,200 tons a day as our first phase. Then, 1,800 tons a day by mid-next year."

As for 400 workers, that would happen if the mine reached full production capacity of about 5,000 tons a day. 

Rod Dusharm worked at the zinc mine for 13 years. He said Tuesday he's cautiously optimistic Titan Mining can "work together, work safe and make it happen."

Boyle said there may be enough zinc in the ground to keep the mine running for decades.

Titan Mining will sell zinc ore to smelters to process it. Then, the refined zinc is sold and made for galvanizing steel, medicine and cosmetics.

"The supply of zinc is quite tight, so smelters are actually very active in searching out supply to keep their smelters full. So we're actually in a good position," Boyle said.

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