Henderson Mill & Mine announce second round of layoffs
More layoffs are coming to Grand County.
Freeport-McMoRan, the company that operates the Henderson Mill and Mine Complexes, announced last week an additional round of layoffs at their facilities in Grand and Clear Creek County. A total of approximately 130 jobs are expected to be cut from the two facilities. This fresh round of layoffs is in addition to the 80 jobs Freeport-McMoRan announced it was cutting from the two facilities in August; bringing the total layoffs announced this year to 210.
Officials from Freeport-McMoRan confirmed the layoffs Wednesday morning. The layoffs are anticipated to begin on Jan. 12, 2016 and finish around Jan. 26, 2016.
Eric Kinneberg, Director of External Communications with Freeport-McMoRan explained some of the companies reasoning for the job cuts stating, “In light of a continued deterioration in the molybdenum market, Henderson will curtail molybdenum production by an additional 45 percent, to a 10 million pounds per year rate from the 18 million pound rate announced in August. The annual production rate prior to the cut-backs was 27 million pounds.”
Along with reductions in production overall Henderson will suspend development of new mining areas after development of the 7700SW panel is finished, expected to be sometime in early 2016.
A large part of what is driving the reduction in molybdenum production is lower consumption levels for high-grade steel and stainless steel. The ongoing decline of oil and gas drilling and lower overall investments in the heavy machinery required for those endeavors have resulted in a sizable drop in the per-pound price of molybdenum since the beginning of the year.
According to information provided to Henderson’s Community Partnership Panel the price of molybdenum oxide has declined from $9.50 per pound at the beginning of 2015 to $6.50 per pound in August when the first round of layoffs were announced. The price has since dropped to the current price of $4.50 per pound.
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