Xstrata is likely to extend the life of its Brunswick Zinc Mine in Canada having signed a workplace agreement that goes into 2011.

Union employees at the Xstrata Brunswick Zinc Mine in Canada agreed for a three-year extension of its present collective bargaining agreement that will expire in February next year, the company said.

The agreement is likely to surpass the expected closure of the mine, which has been in operation since 1964.

Brunswick Mine general manager Greg Ashe did not say if the agreement meant the mine would operate for longer but said the extension will allow the company to better plan its preparation for its eventual closure next year.

“Once the diamond drilling programme is completed later this year, we’ll know with certainty how much ore there is left to mine, enabling us to establish a more precise date for the closure of the mine,” Ashe said.

The mine was originally due to close this year.