Huckleberry Mine’s suspension affects local industry

Huckleberry Mine's suspension is affecting local businesses who made profit out of the mine.

By Flavio NIenow

Huckleberry Mine’s suspension is not only affecting the lives of over 100 employees, but also local businesses who made profit out of the mine.

Kyle Thomson, owner and General Manager of Monster Industries-a general construction company from Houston, said that with the Houston Forest Products sawmill closing in May 2014 and now Huckleberry’s suspension, Monster Industries has lost over $1 million per year in revenue.

“Monster does over $500,000 annually with Huckleberry Mine, which accounts for about six jobs or three per cent of our annual revenue,” he explained.

Thomson said that thanks to Monster Industries’ aggressive growth in other areas of B.C., the company has been able to outgrow their losses. However, if more companies in the area shutdown, Monster Industries “will be laying off eventually as well,” he said.

Thomson said he expects 2016 and 2017 to be difficult years for people in Northern B.C.

“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned now,” he said.

Imperial Metals, which holds a 50 percent interest in Huckleberry Mines Ltd., also owns the Red Chris and Mount Polley copper/gold mines in B.C.

Huckleberry spokesperson and Imperial Metals vice president of corporate affairs, Steve Robertson said the other two B.C. mines would remain operating. Red Chris just opened in 2015 south of Dease Lake, and Mount Polley reopened after a trailings pond breach in the Cariboo region.

“They’re obviously affected by the lower copper prices, but each mine has a unique set of economic parameters around it. Red Chris is very low cost operation that’s got high debt load, and Mount Polley has more levers to pull because it’s got some higher grades in certain areas. So there’s more flexibility at those operations than at Huckleberry,” explained Robertson.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen said Huckleberry’s announcement was a tough blow so soon after Christmas.

“There’s no question this is difficult news to deliver and to receive,” he said.

According to Cullen, “the wheels are already in motion” to minimize the impact on northwest communities. The MP spoke with community leaders in Houston last week and said he was awaiting a return call from Senior managers at Imperial Metals.

“Getting some basic information from the company so that we know where laid off workers live, how long reduced operations are expected to last, and any insight about the future of the mine will definitely help us to plan our next steps,” he said.

 

Just Posted

Coastal GasLink gets interim injunction against Unist’ot’en

The LNG pipeline company can start work Monday with enforcement approved by court.

B.C’s salmon advisory council skips Terrace

Public engagement tour excludes all non-coastal communities

Great kids doing great things for Houston

Members of the Houston Minor Hockey and the Houston Ringette canvassed the… Continue reading

Owners of mining project south of Houston allowed to drill again

New Nadina’s free miners certificate had been suspended in September

Council seeks to replace By-Mac Park’s boat launch

The boat launch is currently unusable; district has received several complaints

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Rescued B.C. cat with misshapen legs in need of forever home – with carpet

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

VIDEO: Craft growers will add to recreational market, cannabis producer says

Two B.C. men say their expertise in running small legal medical grow-ops a benefit to recreational market

World Sikh Organization demands Canada prove Sikh extremism is a threat

Sikh community says this is first time such extremism has been mentioned in federal terror-threat assessment

Risk of catching the flu increasing in B.C. this holiday season: BCCDC

Dr. Danuta Skowronski with the BC Centre for Disease Control says influenza will pick up during the holidays

Most Read