Nephaline mine east of Peterborough to close early?

Unimin Canada says their nephaline mine at Nephton will eventually close.
Unimin Canada says their nephaline mine at Nephton will eventually close. Mark Guinta / CHEX News

Unimin Canada says it has not made any official decision on the future of its two operations near the village of Havelock, east of Peterborough.

The company operates two nephaline mines, gathering a mineral which is used in the paint, plastics, ceramic and glass industries. In 2014, Unimin announced it would modernize its mine and processing plant at Blue Mountain by upgrading and enlarging the crushing, grinding and bagging machinery, provided the proper approvals are received.

This process was anticipated to take between four and six years.

When the upgrades at Blue Mountain were completed, the mine and plant at nearby Nephton would be shut down.

A letter from. Submitted

CHEX News received a copy of a memo sent to employees of the Nephton facility by Unimin. It says the company is proceeding as if the modernization has been fully approved and suggests the project will be completed and the Nephton plant will close by July 2020.

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A  note sent to CHEX News through social media says the closure will result in the loss of 200 jobs.

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But plant manager Mikhail Clarkson told CHEX News on Tuesday since a final decision on the future of both operations has not yet been made by the company’s board of directors, he could not confirm closing dates or job losses.

“Like we said in 2014, we’ve got this process in place, and we are currently waiting for a decision to be made at the board of directors level before we can make any sort of official announcement,” said Clarkson.

Havelock-Belmont-Methuen Township Mayor Ron Gerow says the township is being kept in the loop by the company but says his understanding of the situation includes the four- to six-year modernization program and subsequent shutdown of the Nephton site.

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