MAC: Mines and Communities

Mining layoffs speed up in Argentina

Published by MAC on 2016-03-14
Source: Izquierda Diario, Mining Press, La Capital, others

Siderar, Pirquitas, Ar-Zinc, Minera Sierra Grande and Andacollo Gold are set to close down

A recent study by the consulting firm Economic Trends indicates that 107,000 Argentinean employees have lost their jobs so far this year.

The ongoing labour crisis also reached the mining industry, as Siderar (Techint Group), Mina Pirquitas (Silver Standard), Ar-Zinc (Glencore), Minera Sierra Grande (China Metallurgical Group Corporation and Minmetals) and Andacollo Gold (Canadian-Chilean joint venture) announced layoffs and closures.

Siderar: Layoffs speed up

Jobs reduction plan moves forward in the steel factory located in the city of San Nicolas, with 150 simultaneous layoffs of Dohm and Loberaz contractors. Workers announce protests.

11 March 2016

La Izquierda Diario confirmed the dismissal of 50 workers by the firm Loberaz, and 100 more at Dohm, companies that outsource services at the Siderar plant.

This steel producer, which is owned by the Techint Group, is carrying out an adjustment plan that involves reducing its staff by 20%, with a total of 1,000 layoffs.

Techint fired nearly 1,000 workers

6 March 2016

The most important national steel company in Argentina has decided to lay off about one thousand workers in different contractors, justified by "a collapsed market that still does not rebound".

The layoffs could reach 700 people in Ramallo, while nearly 300 jobs will be lost in Campana metallurgical enterprises Loginter and Camau, Techint group contractors.

Siderar is the largest steel maker in Argentina and 80% of its production goes to the domestic market.

Gerardo Morales announced the closure of Pirquitas

La Izquierda Diario []

10 March 2016

The governor of Jujuy announced the decision of the multinational mining company Silver Standard to close the Pirquitas mine. The announcement made by the governor, as a spokesman for the multinational, added no explanation of the decision.

The government appointed Ruben Daza Morales, current Secretary of the Popular Economy, to be in charge of a compensation plan for the affected families, Daza is said to have experience in the closure of large institutions and implementing policies for those dismissed, because of the 1992 privatization of Altos Hornos Zaplam, during his time as mayor of Palpalá during, which left more than 7,000 workers on the street.

Currently the mine employs 590 workers, of which 250 belong to the Liviara, Orosmayo, Coyahuayma and Loma Blanca communities in the area of Nueva Pirquitas (which was relocated by the company). The area is estimated to be inhabited by just over 1,000 people.

Pirquitas: Closing dates

Mining Press -

11 March 2016

In an interview with Mining Press, Silver Standard sources stated that the Pirquitas mine would extract ore until September 2016, while the main mill would be operational with the remaining stock until March 2017.

Over 100,000 jobs lost in Argentina this year

Private sector jobs are being cut in construction, oil, and mining

9 March 2016

A study by the consulting firm Economic Trends indicates that 107,000 Argentinean employees have lost their jobs this year. This will add more than half a percentage point to the unemployment rate.

In January there were 41,921 layoffs, half of them coming from the public sector. Construction, food production, textiles, and clothing were among the industries that were hit the hardest.

In February, layoffs affected 65,799 people, a 75% increase compared to the same month in 2015. 55,800 jobs were lost in the private sector, especially in construction (85%) and also in other economic areas such as the sale of auto parts, oil, commerce, and mining.

The Economic Trends report adds that there was a “sharp increase in labor unrest in February, with a widespread rise in strikes, layoffs and suspensions.”

After conducting a quarterly survey of private sector companies, the consulting firm Manpower concluded that new jobs will not be created in the country until June.

According to the firm, 78% of companies expect no change in staffing, while 11% of employers will increase their staff and 5% plan to lay off workers.

“There is a stand-by strategy. No sudden movements are planned. The companies expect to wait and see how the measures taken by the government are defined and what their impact will be. They think their profitability will be positive, but this should actually happen,” said María Laura Cali, director of SEL Consultores.

Sources: La Nación, Infobae

Translated by Leonor Silva de Ball

Closure of Ar-Zinc confirmed: 400 employees out of work

26 February 2016

The announcement was emphatic: the Ar-Zinc smelter in Fray Luis Beltrán, Santa Fe, will finally close its doors and more than 400 families are losing their livelihoods. The company decision became known yesterday at a hearing at the Ministry of Labor's Office, in which the Glencore Group made the announcement.

The company also noted that they have been reporting losses for years.

Ar-Zinc SA (former Sulfacid) began operations in 1950 as a producer of sulfuric acid and in 1963 launched an electrolytic zinc plant. Since July 2005, it was fully acquired by Glencore International.

Glencore also owns Minera Aguilar in northern Jujuy province, from where zinc concentrates are sent for processing at Ar-Zinc plant.

MCC Minera announced the dismissal of 200 workers

Operations said to continue with little more than half of their payroll.

18 January, 2016

SIERRA GRANDE (ASG) - The Chinese-owned MCC Minera Sierra Grande convened a press conference to announce that it is on the verge of bankruptcy and must lay off at least 200 workers (from a total worforce of 460) who operate the underground iron ore deposit located in the Rio Negro province, Patagonia.

"The international iron ore price crisis and the financial costs of a US$60 million loan adds up", general manager Qifang Chen explained through a translator.

The mine, which had been shuttered since 1991, was acquired by MCC in 2006 and made its first shipment to China in February 2011.

Solutions demanded for Andacollo Gold

A group of workers asked the provincial government to be in charge of the gold mine located in the north of Neuquén, Patagonia. The mine has been stalled since late 2014.

29 December 2015

NEUQUÉN (AN) - A group of workers from the Andacollo gold mine mobilized yesterday to march on the capital city to demand a solution from the government to the crisis they are facing, and questioned the lack of fulfillment of its commitments on the part of the company.

They said there are no certainties regarding the call made by state owned Neuquen Mining Corporation (Cormine), for companies interested in reactivating the mine and called for the province to be in charge of its operation.

Some 140 workers of Minera Andacollo Gold were never compensated. The firm abandoned the site over a year ago. Until a new operator is found to reactivate the venture, Cormine is paying the miners' wages.

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