Highland Valley Copper mine held a well-attended and successful Open House earlier this year. The mine’s annual Open Houses are viewed as general indicators that the mine is having a good year.

Highland Valley announces layoffs

Highland Valley Copper announced last week that it would be laying off 60-80 employees due to a drop in copper prices.

  • Nov. 10, 2015 3:00 p.m.

by Wendy Coomber

with Kamloops This Week

Slumping copper prices have led Teck’s Highland Valley Copper mine to announce it will cut its workforce by six per cent by the end of 2016.

“It has the possibility of impacting Ashcroft in a big way,” said Ashcroft Mayor Jack Jeyes. “Any kind of job loss is important to Ashcroft.”

Ashcroft receives an annual grant from Logan Lake based on its property assessments because of the mine, but Jeyes said the layoffs won’t affect that.

Cache Creek Mayor John Ranta noted that every time there is a job lost in the region, there is a trickle-down effect on the local economy.

“Job loss anywhere in the region has an impact,” he said. “In the interests of maintaining as many jobs as possible and still make a profit you sometimes have to suffer a reduction in your workforce. For those workers that remain, it’s a good thing. For those laid off we have significant sympathy for the hardships they are going through and hope they find employment soon.”

Peter Martell, superintendent of environment and community affairs at the mine, said nine management staff were laid off last Thursday, with more job cuts coming in the new year.

“We’ve had challenging market conditions that are continuing, so they are taking steps to reduce costs at Highland Valley Copper and maintain our competitiveness,” Martell said.

Kyle Wolff, president of the United Steelworkers Local 7619, said the challenge is that production costs have gone up as copper prices have fallen.

Copper prices fell to the lowest levels in more than a month last week. Copper for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, closed down 2.9 per cent to US$2.26 a pound on New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the lowest close for copper since Sept. 29.

The mine, located near Logan Lake, employs approximately 1,400 people, meaning some 80 jobs are being eliminated from that six per cent, something Teck hopes to do primarily through attrition — eliminating a position when the person in it retires.

“There’s always a significant number of people each year that retire,” Martell said.

Just Posted

Firefighters battling two blazes on Highway 1 south of Ashcroft

Highway has reopened to single-lane, alternating traffic led by a pilot car so expect delays

Fires on Highway 1, CN mainline keep Ashcroft firefighters busy

Two vehicle fires and a rail fire sparked within an 11-day span

Reports on seniors’ needs, downtown show way forward for Cache Creek

‘I hope they won’t gather dust’ says Cache Creek mayor

Counselling support available for those impacted by wildfires

New, confidential, free service in region designed for families or individuals

Local News Briefs: Come out and rock

Join Rawkn’ Art Camp participants as they show off their accomplishments, and stay for a concert

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Most Read