Swedish mining company Boliden has decided to place the Tara zinc mine in Ireland on care and maintenance due to financial losses.

The decision has suspended production and exploration at the mine and is expected to affect 650 workers at Europe’s largest zinc mine within the next month, reported Reuters.

Boliden said it is looking to extend the operational life of the mine while ensuring its competitiveness.

The business’ financial losses are due to factors including the reduced zinc price, operational challenges, high energy prices and general cost inflation.

In a statement, Boliden said: “Tara will therefore be placed under care and maintenance until further notice. The decision means that production at the mine ceases and that the workforce is temporarily laid off until conditions of the operation improve.”

The mine started production in 1977 and has extracted more than 85 million tonnes of ore.

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By GlobalData

Acquired by Boliden in 2004, the mine produces around two million tonnes of ore annually for the production of zinc and lead concentrates.

Separately, the company anticipates a negative impact of Skr700m ($65m) in its second-quarter earnings before interest and tax due to a production suspension at its Ronnskar smelter in Sweden after a fire outbreak.

The impact is also due to grades lower than previously communicated at the Kevitsa and Tara mines.

Boliden noted: “This also includes the impact of the previously communicated problems with the mill in Garpenberg in the first quarter, which also affected the start of the second quarter.”