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BHP reduces contract staff

Northern News Services
Published Friday, December 19, 2008

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - BHP Billiton has informed its underground mine contractor, Procon Mining and Tunnelling Ltd., that it will no longer need 12 Procon employees who were helping with construction of the Ekati Diamond Mine's underground pit, which is now complete.

Procon laid off the 12 workers Wednesday.

"This decision was made because the development work in our Panda underground mine is finished," said Deana Twissell, spokesperson for BHP. "Production of ore from Panda continues."

All 12 workers are from the south.

"There are no Northern employees laid off," said Twissell.

She added that the cutback had nothing to do with the global economic crisis.