50 workers to be axed at Norton

Norton Gold Fields’ Homestead gold mine in WA is expected to close by the end of the year, making around 50 workers redundant.

The company sought voluntary redundancies from its 80 underground workers, including nearly 30 workers from the neighbouring Bullant mine, the ABC reports, adding that delays in transitioning the mine’s workers to the adjacent Tuart underground mine have exacerbated the problem.

The mine, approximately 35km northeast of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, is coming to the end of its mine life after opening seven years ago, although the company said it may continue minor works with a skeleton crew.

The company has also considered the idea of developing a new mine in 2017.

Norton is also in talks with Evolution Mining to develop the Castle Hill  project, with extra plans to put the Mt Jewell open pit mine into production next year.

In 2014, Norton reached a significant milestone in production, pouring its millionth ounce of gold from the Paddington gold mine, which it took over from Barrick Gold in 2007.

Zijin Mining Group, China’s top gold producer, owns more than 50 per cent of Norton.

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