Click for the latest Bonners Ferry weather forecast.
Print Version

Home   News   Sports   Social   Obituaries   Events   Letters

Layoffs possible at Troy Mine

January 20, 2013
Rockslides in unused areas of the Troy Mine in Lincoln County, Montana, forced suspension of operations there December 1, and uncertainty on when the mine can reopen has raised the possibility of layoffs.

The instabilities were caused in November by rain, freezing temperatures and small tremblers in the area.

Mine owner Revett Minerals Inc., Spokane Valley, said all 205 mine workers have been kept busy on surface projects since the closure, but that may change depending on when the mine may reopen.

The company has been working with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, installing seismic monitors that in early January indicated conditions in the mine were stabilizing, allowing re-entry into parts of the mine, but the mine will not be deemed safe for resumed operations until the entire mine can be inspected and the Mine Safety and Health Administration gives final approval.

It is unknown at this point whether such approval will take weeks or months.

“These geotechnical issues have presented a challenge over the past few weeks," said Revett Minerals president and CEO John Shanahan. "We are looking to get back to production as quickly as possible, but we must follow prudent procedures to ensure that the resumption of underground activities is done correctly and safely. We thank everyone for their patience.”

So far, it doesn't appear that any of the main infrastructure of the mine or equipment was damaged, and there have been no lost time accidents or injuries as a result of the instabilities.

"We expect to be operating the Troy Mine for a long time to come," Shanahan said, "so a cautious approach to current underground conditions is consistent with our approach to being a safe and responsible operator."
Questions or comments about this letter? Click here to e-mail!