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PAN AMERICAN SILVER CUTS 500 JOBS (Canada)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

November 13, 2008 at 9:21 AM EST

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — Pan American Silver Corp. is cutting 500 jobs, rolling back executive salaries by 10 per Silver and gold jewels and other itemscent and reducing exploration and capital spending to deal with weaker finances and a drop in prices of silver and zinc, its key metals.

The Vancouver company said Thursday the streamlining was required to cope with weaker metals prices, a 10 per cent drop in revenues and sharply lower profits in the latest quarter.

“These are challenging times for the global mining industry,” president and CEO Geoff Burns said in a release.

“We have responded by retooling our business plans to reduce costs and adjust to the new pricing environment. We have managed our business conservatively over the past couple of years and enter this difficult period in solid financial health, with no debt and with the skills and the experience to adapt and thrive without compromising our growth.

“There are many reasons to be optimistic about future silver and gold prices. Government bailouts and debts worldwide have reached epic proportions and will, in my opinion, eventually undermine the very value of the paper currencies and the economies those same governments were charged with protecting. This should benefit gold and silver prices and Pan American Silver.”

In its financial report, Pan American said its net earnings for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 fell to $6.4-million (U.S.) or eight cents a share, from $23.9-million, or 31 cents a share for the same 2007 period.

Sales fell 10 per cent to $79.5-million, said the company, which reports its finances in U.S. dollars.

Pan American has seven operating mines in Mexico, Peru and Bolivia. An eighth mine in Argentina is scheduled to start up this month.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GLOBE AND MAIL’

Posted in ARGENTINA, BOLIVIA, CANADA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, GOLD, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, MEXICO, NORTH AMERICA, PERU, PRECIOUS METALS, SILVER, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, ZINC | Leave a Comment »

BOLIVIAN MINES HALT AS METAL PRICES PLUMMET – Bolivian Zinc, Silver Mines Fall Silent As Global Crisis Sinks Metal Prices

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 2, 2008

POTOSI, Bolivia, Oct. 30, 2008

(AP) Falling mineral prices have Bolivian miners digging in the hard Andean earth for a humbler means of survival: potatoes.

The global financial crisis is driving a decline in metal prices that has idled thousands of miners here in recent weeks _ just in time for the Southern Hemisphere’s spring planting season in nearby rural villages once all but abandoned during a recent mineral boom.

“They can no longer earn anything in the mines, but at least they can plant their crops so they have something to eat,” Roman Rodriguez, spokesman for the Potosi state Federation of Mining Cooperatives, told The Associated Press recently.

The price of zinc, Bolivia’s largest export after oil and gas, has dropped nearly a third in the last month, and is 70 percent off its peak in late 2006. Falling prices for silver, tin and lead have also hit the key mining industry hard in this poor Andean nation.

The Potosi federation reported this week that 80 percent of region’s mining cooperatives have halted operations until zinc and silver prices recover. In the state’s colonial capital, whose treeless, rust-colored hills tower 13,300 feet (4,000 meters) above sea level, a work force of 25,000 miners has been cut in half. Those still working have seen daily paychecks drop from more than $20 to about $7.

Another telling economic indicator is the disappearance of more than a dozen Hummers that mine owners once drove through the city’s narrow streets. Miners here say many of the vehicles were sold for cash at a swap meet.

President Evo Morales has announced $5 million in zinc subsidies to help keep mines open, and his government is considering similar funds for other minerals.

The money aims to appease the estimated 80,000 members of independent miners’ cooperatives, a volatile political bloc known for showing up at street protests with hardhats and dynamite.

“The government will do everything possible to prevent more cooperatives from halting operations,” mining director Freddy Beltran said Tuesday.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘CBS NEWS’ (USA)

Posted in BOLIVIA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, LEAD, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, PRECIOUS METALS, SILVER, TIN, ZINC | Leave a Comment »