Two employees laid off by KGHM Ajax last week to return - InfoNews

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Two employees laid off by KGHM Ajax last week to return

June 02, 2016 - 4:10 PM

KAMLOOPS - Two of the employees let go from KGHM Ajax last week are already coming back to the mining company’s payroll.

Robert Koopmans, a communicator, and Will Ciancone, a rancher at the KGHM owned Sugarloaf Ranch, have been brought back, the mining company’s spokesperson Yves Lacasse said today, June 2.

The roles they're returning to will be slightly different than before, Lacasse said, with Koopmans coming back in a part time role.

The decision to lay off seven employees last week by the mining company was due to falling commodities’ prices, but Lacasse says the company was able to rejig things to bring back the two former employees.

“The higher ups realized it’s important to the project team,” he said.

The company also replaced project manager Clyde Gillespie with the project's chief geologist Chris Wild earlier this week.

Concerns about the recent chaotic appearance of the company are unfounded, Lacasse said.

“Organizations go through exactly the same things we’re going through all the time. The difference is we’re very public," he said. 

Interest in the proposed Ajax Mine and the well known profile of Koopmans, former editor of the now defunct Kamloops Daily News, have made typically quiet human resource decisions more public, Lacasse said.

"In terms of turmoil, it may appear this way," he said. "Internally we have an excellent team.”

He estimates the mining company has around 14 or 15 employees in Kamloops, now.

The rehirings have no impact on the potential mine’s temporary suspension of its environmental assessment. New project manager Wild previously said the company aims to have the suspension lifted in fall of 2016 so a decision can be made in late 2016 or early 2017.

The mining company asked for the temporary suspension and it was granted by the provincial environmental assesment office at the beginning of May.

Community benefit negotiations between the city and company haven’t restarted yet after announcements in mid-April stating talks were off and then back on.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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