Noranda Meets with Striking Unions to Re-Start Negotiations

Noranda have met with Le syndicat des travailleurs de la Mine Noranda who represent union workers who have been on strike at the Horne plant since June 2002.

At the meeting, Noranda presented their plan that was designed to cut costs and return the operation to profitability in the medium to long term, as well as to provide a platform for negotiations with striking employees to re-commence. However, the plan involved the reduce in the number of unionised employees from 550 to 425.

During the period where union workers have been on strike, the Horne plant has continued operation using management and non-unionised staff.

Since the beginning of the strike, treatment charges for copper concentrate have dropped by 15% and treatment charges are 20% lower in 2003 compared to 2001. These charges are the smelter’s main source of revenue.

Despite all that has transpired, Noranda remains committed to bringing the Horne smelter back to profitability through both a reduction in manpower and further investments.

They are planning to invest in a new recycling factory, dedicated to supplying the Horne smelter with a source of recycled materials. They also plan to invest a further $10.3 million in exploration, aimed at locating new copper-zinc deposits in Quebec, Canada. This follows on from a new incentive programme implements by the Quebec government and furthers their commitment established in 2001 after the programme was first announced.

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