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Bulgaria Non-ferrous Mine to Close, 200 Miners Lose Jobs

Date: 17.11.2008

Dimov Dol, the largest non-ferrous metal mine in the area of Rudozem is closing beginning Monday, leaving 200 miners unemployed, Mitko Mladenov, Manager of the Rudmetal company reported for the Darik radio on Friday.

Mladenov explained that in the next six months the company would make efforts to begin functioning again and rehire the miners. If the efforts fail, the mine is facing total liquidation.

The financial crisis is the result of the constant reduction of the zinc and lead prices - the current price is between BGN 1,000 and 1,2000 for one ton, compared to BGN 4,000 one year ago.

According to Mladenov, the price needs to be at least at the BGN 2,000 per ton level in order for the mine to be functioning. The mine has been asking for the support of the Bulgarian Economy and Energy Minister Petar Dimitrov.

In the next six months, the miners are not going to be laid off, but would rather use the rest of their paid annual leave and would be on unpaid leave afterwards.

20 people will remain working at the mine to drain the water.

Just four months ago, 20% of the Dimov Do" employees were discharged in order to avoid the company's bankruptcy.

Mladenov stated that the average monthly salary at the mine was between BGN 800 and 1,500. The mine is the main source of income for over 200 families in the town of Rudozem and the adjacent area.

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