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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Europe: September 9th 2003


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:: Xstrata to Close Northfleet Recycling Operation

Xstrata Zinc has put a proposal to employees and unions to close the Northfleet recycling operation in the United Kingdom it inherited in its takeover of MIM Holdings earlier this year.

The closure would make about a third of the 250 Northfleet workers redundant, and consultations have already begun with employees and unions, London-listed Xstrata said.

"In the due diligence and integration processes entered into as part of the acquisition of MIM, Xstrata identified a number of initiatives to optimise the lead business of the former MIM," Santiago Zaldumbide, chief executive of Xstrata Zinc, said. "The recycling operation at Britannia Refined Metals [a wholly owned subsidiary of Xstrata] has achieved only marginal profitability at best over the last several years and it is now at a point where future investment is required but impossible to justify."

The net book value of the recycling operation is already zero, and closure costs are expected to amount to US$5-8 million, including redundancy, decommissioning and clean-up costs.

With the closure of the second line last March and the proposed closure of the recycling line, BRM would comprise a singe lead refining operation tat would continue to process crude lead from the Mt Isa mine in Queensland, Xstrata said.




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