Midas Gold Corp. has reduced its workforce of more than 70 people in Valley County and cut its orders to outside contractors.
The company has completed its drilling program for the year and had previously planned to scale back operations during the winter, says Richard Moses, field operations manager.
Midas Gold has been exploring for gold and other valuable metals at its Golden Meadows site near Yellow Pine. Midas plans to shift its exploration to new areas next year, though it has not yet received the needed permits from the Payette National Forest.
Three of the employees were managers and received severance packages, he says. The three were required to sign nondisclosure agreements, which Moses says was normal business practice. Laid-off employees will be given first chance to reclaim their jobs when hiring resumes, he says.
Three appeals have been filed opposing the Payettes decision to issue drilling permits to the Vancouver, B.C., company for new areas next year and in 2014.
Midas Gold began exploration in 2010 after assembling various mining claims in the historical Stibnite mining district into what the company called the Golden Meadows Project. The company is mainly after gold, but the explorations have also found significant deposits of silver and antimony, which is used in flame-proofing compounds and to harden lead.
If mining begins, the company estimates as many as 400 people would be employed during construction and as many as 425 jobs would be created during the mines estimated 14-year life.