Britain s Crew Gold cuts jobs at Philippines mine

January 28, 2009

, MANILA, Jan 28 – Crew Gold Corp. of Britain said Thursday it was cutting 150 workers from its gold mine in the southern Philippines to save money amid depressed metal prices.

The Maco mine on the island of Mindanao cut the jobs "to sustain the economic viability of the mine project," Crew\’s listed local unit Apex Mining Co. told the Philippine Stock Exchange in a disclosure.

About 150 rank and file managers and staff have been laid off, including all but two specialised foreign technicians, it added.

Crew had hired 1,955 people for the project, which had just started production. At full capacity the project would have an annual output of 50,000 ounces (1.55 tonnes), the company said.

Apex said "the project has barely started productive operations while development costs remain a financial burden.

"It is anticipated that the project will realise earnings once its commercial production is in full swing with high precious metal prices being forecast to prevail during the periods to come," it added.

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