Nyrstar NV announced on December 7 that it is placing its middle Tennessee zinc mines on care and maintenance to further minimize cash consumption in its mining segment as it continues to address the impact of low metals prices. The decision will result in approximately 50,000 mt/y of zinc in concentrate being taken out of the market. Zinc metal production at Nyrstar’s Clarksville, Tennessee, smelter will be reduced by about 9,000 mt/y. The Clarksville smelter will continue to be supplied by Nyrstar’s east Tennessee mines and additional external sources. The smelter produced 110,000 mt of zinc in 2014.
Nyrstar’s middle Tennessee operations include three underground mines and a concentrator, all located in Smith County. Nyrstar CEO Bill Scotting said, “The decision to place our middle Tennessee mining operations on care and maintenance was not taken lightly. We continue to take decisive action to reduce spending in our mines, and further mine operation suspensions may be necessary if the depressed metals price environment continues. We expect to complete a process to divest the majority or all of our mines over the course of 2016.”
In addition to its U.S mines, Nyrstar has operations in Canada, Mexico, Peru, Honduras and Chile.