30/08/2002

Tara Mines decision secures 700 jobs

Seven hundred jobs have been secured with the news that the Republic's Tara Mines is to reopen in September, following the decision of the mine's Finnish owners, Outokumpu Oy, to recommence production at the site.

The mine has been closed since last November, when production was halted due to a fall in the price of zinc ore – which stood at its lowest level since 1979.

The company's entire workforce of 550 was laid off at the time, and Tara Mines stated that the mine would be inactive for several months – with the proviso that any subsequent re-opening would be dependent on a recovery in the price of zinc.

However, in an announcement made on Thursday, managing director of Tara Mines, Mr Eero Laatio, confirmed that production would recommence at the site in September 2002, following a slight rise in the price of the ore. The statement also detailed that the mine's workforce will be rehired – with an additional 110 new employees to join them next month.

Tara Mines Limited is the largest zinc mine in Europe, has produced over 2.5 million tonnes of ore annually in recent years. The Irish Midlands is one of the richest mineral provinces in Europe, with zinc from functioning mines such as the Tara site and Galmoy contributing 8% of Ireland's GNP.

(CL)

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