The closed zinc mines in Mascot and New Market have been purchased from a Swiss company called Glencore by a Belgian company called Nyrstar and plans are under way to re-open the mines and recall some 300 employees. The price of zinc has been climbing and is back above 85 cents a pound.
What especially cheers locals is that Nyrstar owns a smelting operation in Clarksville, Tenn., and hauling there and processing will create economies and make it more likely for the local plants to be more profitable and thus stay open. Current operations closed in February when zinc dropped down below 57 cents a pound, the break even point for operations. Glencore had invested millions improving operations.
A maintenance crew has been on staff keeping the mines ready for operations, primarily manning pumps to prevent tunnels flooding.