The Esmeralda Mine near Hawthorne will pause production and lay off all 25 of its employees in the coming weeks, said a source at Waterton Global, the company that owns the mine.
The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because Waterton Global asked them not give their name.
Many of the employees were given pink slips on Monday, although some will be retained long enough to process the ore already on hand, the source said.
All the employees will receive pay and benefits for 60 days after they’re laid off, and Waterton will work with the state of Nevada to find the employees work force re-entry and retraining programs the source said.
The source didn’t know how many employees would be kept onboard until the ore stockpile is milled, or how long the layoffs had been in the works, although they did say Waterton Global has been working on a long-term plan to operate the mine since it acquired the property in May.
Waterton bought the Esmeralda Mine in a court supervised auction after its previous owners, Great Basin Gold declared bankruptcy, and has been working to stabilize the property since the purchase.
“While stabilizing [the mine], they’ve also conducted an analysis that lead them to conclude the best way to position the [mine] for long-term production and sustainability would be to pause production,” the source said.
The layoffs were alluded to in a news release from Waterton Global on Monday.
The release announced “the next phase of its value creation plan,” for Esmeralda and Hollister Gold Mine, another Waterton-owned mine near Winnemucca.
“We would like to thank our employees for their valuable contributions to the turnaround process,” said Head of Mining Operations Jack McMahon in the news release. “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.”