Glenwood Mayor Jason Kinden knew a restart of the Beaver Brook Antimony Mine was coming, but he just wasn’t sure when it was going to happen.
When he walked into the town hall for a provincial government announcement on March 8 to see a room filled with mining sector representatives it took him by surprise.
It was great news for his community and the surrounding area, however, as it means the return of about 100 jobs to the area.
“It’s going to be great for the economy, our residents, our little town of Glenwood is going to grow because of it,” he said.
Even though the mine doesn’t pay a business tax, because it operates outside of its municipal boundary, it offers support in other ways, Kinden said.
Because there isn’t a camp onsite, the mayor said workers stay in Glenwood, which boosts housing and rental markets. The mine also provides donations to the town and has been a strong supporter of its summer festival.
“It’s not actually a tax, but they help us out a lot. They are a great benefit to our town,” he said.
Furthermore, the mine carries out the upkeep of the gravel road leading to the mine.
Located 43 kilometres west of Glenwood, Beaver Brook Antimony Mine ceased production in 2012. Antimony is a grey metal and has been used in infrared detectors, medicine and cosmetics.
According to Premier Dwight Ball, who made the announcement in Glenwood, the mine has a lifespan of three and a half years, and some 160,000 tonnes of antimony will be mined and processed into concentrate annually. The restart is expected to take place soon.
It’s a day resident Calvin Kinden is looking forward to.
Calvin witnessed the highs and lows of Glenwood and remembers the busy times. He said the mining activity brought a vibrancy to the town that hasn’t been seen since the closure.
“A lot of rural Newfoundland towns don’t have a lot going on in terms of economy, so this will be remarkable for the people of Glenwood,” he said. “It’s amazing that this can happen all these years later.”
Mining NL executive director Ed Moriarty said a mining restart isn’t an uncommon practice, as commodity prices dictate the value of often costly ventures.
While the lifespan of the mine is set relatively low, Moriarty is willing to accept the timeframe, as it gets production underway.
“When mines open they are destined to close, but I’m sure with some attention to exploration there might be other opportunities,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity right now to reopen, employ, build upon the supply and service base, and hopefully an opportunity for people to come home.”