Zinc miners are struggling these days as the price languishes. We reported a week ago that Montreal-based BLUE NOTE MINING is trimming its production costs by culling 70 of the 370 jobs at its Caribou zinc-lead mine near Bathurst, N.B. Winnipeg-based HUDBAY MINERALS announced the closure of it Balmat mine in New York and the a jobless future for 200 people.
But BREAKWATER RESOURCES of Toronto is bucking the trend. It has elected to exercise its right to acquire 20% interest in Blue Note’s Caribou and Restigouche mines. The arrangement was part of a debenture issued by Blue Note in 2006, and an amendment specifies the creation of a joint venture.
“We feel that this decision validates everything we always have believed about the Caribou mines,” said Michael Judson, president and CEO of Blue Note, “It is a high quality asset, and Breakwater understands its value. The opportunity to work with one of Canada’s leading mid-tier mining operators is welcomed.”
The arrival of Breakwater must be welcome news to New Brunswick residents. Forest sector jobs are becoming fewer and fewer, and XSTRATA’s Brunswick mine and mill are slated for closure within a few years. If taking in a partner can keep a small miner operating, Blue Note can continue to provide high-paying jobs for the community.