Nyrstar placed its Middle Tennessee Mines (MTM) on care and maintenance as the company continues to address the impact of the challenging metals price environment. Located near Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, MTN consists of three underground zinc mines (Coy, Immel and Young) and the Young mill, which employ a total of 441. The company said a small team of essential staff will remain at the MTN sites to ensure a smooth transition into care and maintenance over the next few months, while ensuring that high safety and environmental standards are maintained.

“The decision to put our Middle Tennessee Mining operations on care and maintenance was not taken lightly,” said Bill Scotting, CEO, Nyrstar. “However, given the continued depression of the metal price environment, it is the right decision for the company. 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 the process to divest the majority or all of our mines over the course of 2016.”

The MTN suspension will result in approximately 50,000 metric tons per year (mt/y) of zinc in concentrate being taken out of the market. Zinc metal production at the nearby Nyrstar Clarksville smelter will be reduced by about 7%, equivalent to 9,000 mt/y. The Nyrstar Clarksville smelter will continue to be supplied by East Tennessee Mines and additional external sources.