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Boliden to restart operations at Tara zinc mine in Ireland with workforce reduction

Boliden, the Swedish mining company, is set to resume production at its Tara zinc mine in Ireland after successfully negotiating cost reductions with unions. This agreement will lead to a significant reduction of approximately one-third of the operation’s workforce.

Last year, Boliden halted operations at Tara, Europe’s largest zinc mine, in response to a three-year low in zinc prices and challenges related to expensive energy costs and production issues.

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The gradual ramp-up of operations at Tara is planned for the fourth quarter, with expectations to reach full capacity by January 2025. Additionally, exploration activities at the site will resume.

As part of the restructuring, the number of full-time workers will be reduced to around 400, down from over 600 before the shutdown last year, according to Boliden’s announcement.

The company anticipates recording a restructuring cost of €30 million ($32 million) in the second quarter, attributed to the job cuts and other organizational adjustments. The total impact on the quarter’s results, including previously disclosed costs for care and maintenance, is projected to be €43 million ($46 million), as stated by Boliden.

Zinc prices have shown signs of recovery this year, rebounding from multi-year lows observed in 2023. Currently, the galvanizing metal is trading at $2,834 per tonne, reflecting a 5.7% increase compared to the same period last year.

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