Citing a 40% decline in copper prices since 2011 and current global market conditions, Asarco announced an indefinite shutdown of its Hayden concentrator, as well as a reduction in its stripping for leaching operation at its Ray mine in Arizona. The company said its cost structure requires operational adjustments to ensure its viability and sustainability and protect its reserves for the long term. An analysis of each operating area determined that the ones that impact the company’s cost structures the most are the Hayden concentrator and Ray mine.

A total of 211 hourly positions may be affected. This will result in a 20% reduction, lowering the number of hourly employees to 1,637.

The impact of these adjustments will reduce production by approximately 67 million lb/y equivalent or 17% of the company’s total production. The company said that this, combined with a $110 million reduction in its capital expenditures for 2015-2016, will improve overall costs and free cash flow. Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, USA, Asarco is a subsidiary of Grupo Mexico.

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