Salt Wire – Posted: Oct. 12, 2021, 6:20 p.m. | Updated: Oct. 13, 2021, 1:48 p.m.
GLENWOOD, N.L. — The pandemic has had immense impacts on antimony miners since it hit in early 2020.
On the economic front in central Newfoundland, it claimed some 100 mining jobs at the Beaver Brook Antimony Mine, about 40 kilometres outside Glenwood.
However, as things start to rebound in the province the Beaver Brook operation has restarted.
In early September, a statement was published on the Beaver Brook Antimony Mine’s Facebook page that there were plans to restart full operations at the site in late September or early October.
“Meanwhile, we have begun the internal planning and preparations to restart our mine in a safe, efficient, and orderly manner,” read the statement.
What is antimony?
Antimony is a chemical element. It’s in a wide variety of products including lead allloys, a variety of flame-retardent compounds, and some semiconductors.
The mining company anticipates there could be as many as two years’ worth of work at the site with the possibility of more as they plan further antimony exploration in the area.
It was last November when word broke that the mine would be suspending operations while maintaining some staff at the site to monitor things, citing the effects of COVID-19 along with increased winter operational costs. The mine had only just restarted with limited operations in July of 2020.
The mine anticipates hiring over 100 people to fill a variety of positions.
The news of the restart was met with optimism from the provincial government. “It is a positive. It is a good thing,” said Industry, Energy and Technology Minister Andrew Parsons.
The mining industry can be cyclical and the group behind the Beaver Brook mine has maintained constant communication with the provincial government since the announced closure in 2020, Parsons said, adding the company had informed them of the planned fall restart.
During the department’s correspondence, the company informed the province it were aiming to restart operations at the mine this fall.
“It is very exciting,” Parsons said.
The latest announcement continues the up and down history of the Beaver Brook mine. After being closed to close to a decade, the mine was restarted in 2019 after it had secured new financial backing and went back into production.
At that time, it was anticipated the project would operate for three to four years and produce upwards of 160,000 tonnes of materials.
“When things did turn around, we’re just really happy to see this,” said Parsons. “This has a big effect whether it is Glenwood, which is probably the closest central (Newfoundland) community, and just the entire central region, which overall is a hotbed for mining.
“It is creating jobs, it is creating spinoffs, it is creating positivity for the industry, and it has a positive impact on the provincial treasury. So, all in all, this happening is a very good thing.”