Xstrata Zinc will close its Brunswick mine located in New Brunswick, Canada, in March 2013, following 50 years of mining operation.

The Brunswick lead/zinc mine, located 35km southwest of Bathhurst, has produced more than 133 million tonnes of ore since it began production in 1964.

Brunswick Mine general manager Greg Ashe said his company managed to extend the life of the mine until next year but admitted, "Mining a depleting ore body becomes progressively more difficult, and therefore we will need to continue our focus on safety, retaining our talented workforce, and controlling costs in order to extract as much as possible of the remaining ore."

New Brunswick premier David Alward added: "We are working closely with local partners to ensure affected employees and businesses can secure new opportunities with the support of a community action plan."

Xstrata has already commenced on a reclamation process to restore the site as closely as possible to its original state.