Alexco Resource Corp. plans to shut down the Bellekeno silver mine near Keno for the winter.
The news was announced in a press release this morning.
CEO Clynt Nauman is on site at the Bellekeno mine today, and could not be reached for comment.
The price of silver has fallen to under $20 U.S. per ounce this month, compared with around $32 U.S. per ounce six months ago.
The Bellekeno mine has a capacity of about 120 jobs, although about 30 of those were recently laid off or previously vacant.
Alexco will spend the winter planning for a reopening in 2014, “assuming the silver market has improved from current levels and underlying fixed costs have been reduced,” according to the release.
That plan will include figuring out how to ramp up production to 400 tonnes per day, up from an average of 283 tonnes per day in the second quarter of 2013.
The company will also begin the environmental assessment for the Flame & Moth deposit, according to the release.
Reclamation and remediation work on historical mines in the area and further exploration will continue as planned.
The mine produced 576,155 ounces of silver in the second quarter of 2013, up 52 per cent compared to the first quarter.
The increase was due to greater quantities and qualities of ore being processed at the mill.