Details are few, but central Newfoundland leaders are feeling optimistic potential employment opportunities in the mining sector could be just around the corner.
Beaver Brook Antimony Mine, located 43 kilometres west of Glenwood, ceased production in 2012, leaving approximately 90 workers unemployed. Antimony is a grey metal and has been used in infrared detectors, medicine and cosmetics.
Last month, an employment opportunities ad surfaced online with 22 job titles listed, which included a call for miners, welders and electricians.
Appleton Mayor Garrett Watton had a meeting with a mine representative last fall. At that time he said interest was expressed in a restart, but Watton couldn’t confirm it would actually take place.
He did note, the mine continues to be pumped out to prevent it from flooding.
“It takes a significant amount of money to keep a mine pumped out,” Watton said. “So there seems to be a commitment there.”
The potential for a restart already has people talking.
“A lot of workers in the past, in our area, went on to work at Voisey’s Bay, (Labrador), Iqaluit and other places up north,” he said. “A number of them have expressed an interesting in being able to return home to work, so people are looking forward to it.”
Hazel Bishop, president and CEO of the Gander and Area Chamber of Commerce, has seen the ad as well.
But like everyone else, Bishop said information is limited.
“It’s a positive sign to see they are advertising,” she said.
“It’s something that would be good for the area and the province as a whole,” if it were to reopen, she added.
Multiple calls and emails to the Beaver Brook Antimony Mine by The Central Voice were not returned. An email to Hunan Nonferrous Metals Corporation (HNC) which the mine is listed as a subsidiary of, bounced back.
The Central Voice also reached out to the Department of Natural Resources, but did not receive a response by deadline.