Glencore Announces Closure of Mount Isa Copper Mine, Raising Concerns for Mining City


Summary: Glencore’s decision to close its Mount Isa copper mine in 2025 has sparked concerns about the future of the mining city and the 1,200 employees affected. The closure is attributed to low-quality ore and the inability to extract safely using current technology.

Glencore, the multinational mining company, has made the decision to shut down all copper mining operations at its Mount Isa mine, which is one of the largest copper mines in the country. This announcement has raised concerns about the future of the mining city, as approximately 1,200 employees, including contractors, suppliers, and businesses that rely on the mine, will be affected. The closure is expected to occur in 2025.

In a statement, Glencore explained that the closure is a result of low-quality ore and areas where safe extraction cannot be achieved with current technology, along with aging infrastructure. The Mount Isa mine is the biggest operation of its kind in the region. However, Glencore’s other metals assets in Mount Isa, such as the George Fisher zinc-lead-silver mine, zinc-lead concentrator, lead smelter, and copper refinery, will continue operating. The company’s Lady Loretta zinc mine will also shut down in 2025.

Sam Strohmayr, the chief operating officer of Glencore’s zinc assets in Australia, acknowledged the disappointment that this decision will bring to employees, suppliers, and the community. He emphasized that after 60 years of copper mining, the Mount Isa copper operation has reached its end. Glencore aims to retain, re-deploy, and retrain as many employees as possible while offering redundancies as a last resort.

Mount Isa Mines, which will celebrate 100 years of operation next year, was acquired by Glencore in 2013. Despite the closure of the Mount Isa mine, other copper mines in the region, including Evolution Mining’s Ernest Henry copper mine and Harmony Gold’s Eva Copper Project, are expanding to meet global demand for the metal, driven by growth in renewable energy and electrification in countries like China and India.

Tags: Glencore, Mount Isa copper mine, mining city, job losses, low-quality ore, copper mining, mine closure, employee redundancy, copper demand, mining industry