Imperial Metals has recalled 44 employees laid off at the Huckleberry mine, which is located 88km from Houston, British Columbia, Canada.
In January 2016, Huckleberry Mines, which owns and operates the open pit copper mine, suspended pit operations due to weak copper prices and laid off 85 employees.
The personnel who have been recalled will focus on tailings dam construction, and in case the schedule allows they may also carry out some mining in the open pit to provide operational readiness in the future.
Imperial Metals said that the Huckleberry mine will continue to process stockpiles until August 2016.
The company will monitor copper prices, and if they do not increase by the third quarter of 2016, the mine will be placed on care and maintenance.
Huckleberry will also continue to investigate better ways to maintain operations. They may include consideration of temporarily deferring a portion of hydro costs under a programme which was announced by the Minister of Energy and Mines in February 2016.
Imperial Metals said in a statement: "Employees at the mine have demonstrated a strong commitment to safety and to date have achieved 487 days without a lost time accident."
Imperial owns a 50% interest in Huckleberry, and the Japan Group, which consists of Mitsubishi Materials, Dowa Mining and Furukawa, owns the remaining 50% interest.
The Huckleberry property covers 19,780ha comprising two mining leases covering 2,422ha and 39 mineral claims encompassing about 17,358ha.
Image: Huckleberry Mines laid off 85 employees at the mine in January 2016. Photo: courtesy of Suat Eman/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.