Two Nevada gold operations to be halted

November 27, 2013

Waterton Global Mining Co. announced it is pausing operations at two northern Nevada properties and laying off 182 workers.

Waterton acquired the mine and the Esmeralda Mill site in May from Great Basin Gold during a bankruptcy auction. About 25 mill workers also received notices, though officials said some employees will remain until stockpiles of ore at the site are processed.

Affected workers will receive 60 days of salary and benefits, the company said.

The company also said while active mining is being suspended, its immediate focus will be on drilling and exploration to extend the life of the mine, The Associated Press reported.

“Although reducing workforce levels is never easy, we believe that at this point focusing on resource definition drilling provides the best opportunity for extending mine life and creating future opportunities for production and employment,” Jack McMahon, Waterton’s head of mining operations, said in a statement.

Since acquiring Hollister and Esmeralda, Waterton has focused on turning around the assets, “with an eye to maximizing the long-term value of our world-class land package and existing infrastructure,” McMahon said.

Waterton Global Mining Co. is a portfolio company of Waterton Precious Metals Fund II, which is a private equity fund that does not disclose its assets.

In June, Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp., the world's largest gold mining company, cut its workforce by 55 positions in Nevada and Utah because of falling gold prices, rising costs and sagging stock prices.
 

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