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ELKO — Newmont Mining Corp. plans to reduce the workforce at its Carlin operations by about 120 employees over the next couple weeks.

“Newmont has carefully evaluated multiple options for meeting our 2019 business plan, but due to the current economics of operating Emigrant and impacts from the Gold Quarry slide in October 2018, all viable plans revealed that we have more staff than what is required,” Newmont wrote in an email to the Elko Daily Free Press on Jan. 8.

A slide occurred in the Gold Quarry open pit Oct. 5, and operations were suspended in the southwest area of the pit and related Chukar underground mine. Subsequently, the company decreased its production guidance, according to Newmont’s third-quarter report and 2019 production outlook.

Emigrant is another open pit within the Carlin operations, where the company has mined since 1965. A footnote in Newmont’s third-quarter results states that there was a leach pad “write-down at Emigrant due to a change in mine plan, resulting in a significant decrease in mine life in the third quarter of 2018.”

Newmont stated that on Jan. 7 it notified the union that covers the 120 hourly bargaining unit employees to be laid off at the Carlin operations. Management is expected to meet with impacted employees over the next two weeks in accordance to employees’ work schedules, and the reduction in workforce is effective March 9, the company stated.

“We realize this situation creates uncertainty for some of our employees and their families, but these decisions had to be made to ensure the long-term sustainability of our operations,” states a Newmont memo addressed to all North America employees dated Jan. 8.

A copy of the memo was provided to the Elko Daily by an anonymous source.

“[O]ur focus remains on our employees as we work through this transition,” Newmont stated.

Newmont’s Nevada operations employ approximately 5,000 employees and contractors, according to the company’s website.

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