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Owner of Lac des Iles palladium mine plans changes

Impala Canada is confronting sharply reduced palladium prices, forcing it to chart 'a new path,' CEO says in note to workers
Impala Canada's palladium mine is located at Lac des Iles, about 85 km north of Thunder Bay (Impala Canada photo)

THUNDER BAY — The plummeting global price for palladium is prompting Impala Canada to make changes to its business plan.

What that might mean for the workforce at the Lac des Iles palladium mine, north of Thunder Bay, is unknown at this point.

The company has about 1,150 employees and contractors.

The price of palladium, an important component in pollution control devices in vehicles, has fallen steadily to about half of what it was a year ago amid concerns of slowing economic growth worldwide.

In a recent note to all of its employees, Impala Canada's CEO, Tim Hill, said a major recovery in the price is not expected in the short term, and that the company is in the process of amending its business plan "through the lens of the current price environment."

Officials with the United Steelworkers union, which represents the majority of the workforce at the mine, declined to comment on the situation this week, except to say that they are waiting for more information from management.

In his note, Hill said current prices are putting a strain on the business, and that Impala must respond with a shift in its business strategy.

"Mining is a cyclical business, but it is never easy to change course," he said. "As we navigate this period, we are taking a measured and responsible approach, carefully considering a new path forward to strengthen and protect our business."

He promised to share the new plan with employees but did not say when it will be finalized.

Another palladium producer, Sibanye-Stillwater, on Wednesday announced a restructuring that included some job cuts at its U.S. operations, saying it's necessary to ensure sustainability through a lower palladium price environment.




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