Almost half of the Endeavor workforce was made redundant this week with further redundancies to be made in the coming months.
Endeavor’s general manager Denver D’Angelo confirmed a group of 81 employees and contractors was given notice on Monday and Tuesday following parent company CBH Resources’ announcement that there would be a production cut at Endeavor Mine.
Mr D’Angelo said a further 35 staff are expected to be made redundant by July 1 as the mine winds down production leaving a workforce of 60 to continue the operation.
In a press release on Monday CBH’s Chief Operating Officer Visko Sulicich advised the redundancies had resulted from the downturn in zinc and lead commodity prices.
Mr Sulicich said following a review of operating strategies at its NSW Mines, CBH had decided to cut production at Endeavor from its 2015 levels of 64,600 tonnes of zinc and lead in concentrate to 10,900 tonnes.
“With a mine life at Endeavor of between two-three years at current production levels and at a time of historically low commodity prices, CBH considers it prudent to preserve the value of the remaining reserve in the ground,” Mr Sulicich said.
“These changes, although temporary, will unfortunately affect employees and contractors at the Endeavor Mine with a reduction in the workforce of 116 people.”
Mr Sulicich said the preservation decision had not been made lightly.
“In the coming days we will engage with all our employees and put in place support services to assist people who are affected as a result of these changes,” he said.
Mr D’Angelo said all retrenched employees will receive in full their accrued entitlements and a redundancy pay out.
“Any of those in company housing will receive three months rent free after which time rent will be payable at market rates.
“Counselling services have been offered to employees and families free of charge.”
He said outplacement services including resume writing and preparation have been offered free of charge and are now available from their housing office in Cobar.
“Any personnel we relocated from away will be offered relocation assistance,” Mr D’Angelo said.
Mr D’Angelo said CBH has no intentions at this stage of selling any of its stock of housing in Cobar.
Since CBH’s announcement on Monday Mayor Lilliane Brady has been inundated by calls from various media outlets.
She said she is not sure what can be done to help those affected but is planning to meet this week with the Cobar Business Association and any other interested community groups to see if there is any way forward.
“Cobar’s been through tough times before and we always bounce back,” she said.