Nystar has 100 employees involved in a $20 million renovation of the three zinc mines at the border of Knox and Jefferson counties. The recent purchase of the mines by the Belgian company brings its Tennessee total to six mines to support its smelting operation in Clarksville. The synergies involved are seen as a major boost to keeping the mines profitable—and open—in the coming years.
The company announced in the Standard Banner newspaper last week that the six mines will employ a total of 600 people by the end of next year and job applications are being taken at the Tennessee Career Center. (There is a Tennessee Career Center at 1610 University Ave. in Knoxville.)
The local mines have been on standby maintenance since February when zinc prices collapsed.
Nystar paid $126 million for the local mines from Glencore, a Swiss company, to add to its three other mines and its smelting operation. Glencore had bought the mines from ASARCO in 2006. ASARCO is primarily a copper mining company and has been in bankruptcy.