Heavyweight miner and trader Glencore has announced that it will slash 500,000 tonnes of zinc production – around 4% of global supply – as a result of plummeting zinc prices.
The mining company said that the operations at Lady Loretta in Australia and Iscaycruz in Peru will be suspended completely, with production from other mines in Australia and Kazakhstan scaled back.
According to the company’s media release, up to 535 jobs may be cut across its Australian zinc operations in Queensland and the Northern Territory.
242 jobs will be slashed at the Lady Loretta mine; 224 positions will be lost from George Fisher, and another 69 at the McArthur mine.
“Glencore remains positive about the medium and long term outlook for zinc, lead and silver prices. This decision will ensure that our zinc operations are sustainable well into the future, providing jobs in the communities where we operate and returns to shareholders,” the company said.
“These changes, although temporary, will unfortunately affect employees at our operations. This decision has not been taken lightly. In the coming days we will engage with all employees and put in place support services to assist people who may be affected as a result of these changes.”