WGI announces winter closing of Emerald Creek Garnet mineadmin
WGI Heavy Minerals, Incorporated announced that it has temporarily ceased operations at its Emerald Creek Garnet mine in Fernwood, Idaho.
The combination of adverse weather conditions in December 2008 and the recent lower grades of garnet produced in the areas WGI was mining in the past two months at ECG contributed to this decision to shut down the mining effort at ECG for the next three months. Weather permitting the Company intends to resume normal operations in April 2009 and concentrate on areas where it is anticipated that the grade of garnet will be more favourable.
“Last winter’s record snowfall combined with lower grade garnet in the ground also resulted in a difficult time for ECG. This year’s winter has begun with even more snow and colder temperatures. These factors contributed to this decision to shut down the mining effort at ECG for the winter months,” said Greg Emerson, Chief Executive Officer.
If weather conditions allow, the Company will continue with its reclamation efforts to take advantage of equipment and labour resource availability during these shut down months. All but essential personnel at the mine will be laid off for this shut down period, effective December 31.
WGI does not anticipate any material change in its ability to supply garnet to WGI’s world-wide customers as the amount of garnet produced at ECG during the first three months of 2008 was 2,282 tons at a loss of $306,000. WGI continues to receive garnet from India under our distribution agreement with VV Minerals.