ALMOST two-thirds of the employees at Endeavor Mine are facing redundancy as of Monday.
Employees of the CBH Resources-run Endeavor Mine were told the news at a staff-only meeting at the Cobar Bowling and Golf Club on Monday meeting.
The working population of 176 will be reduced to a skeleton staff of just 60.
Staff who did not wish to be named told Fairfax Media they would find out their fate from their respective managers on Tuesday. They said they were in for an anxious 24 hours.
CBH's chief operating officer Visko Sulicich said the cut was a result of the downturn in zinc and lead commodity prices and production would be reduced from 2015 levels of 64,600 tonnes to 10,900 tonnes of zinc and lead in concentrate.
"With a mine life at Endeavor of between two to three years at current production levels and at a time of historically low commodity prices, CBH considers it prudent to preserve the value of the remaining reserve in the ground," he said.
The announcements of the redundancies is not necessarily a surprise to the mine's employees or the Cobar township.
"One-hundred-and-sixteen jobs is a lot of jobs and most Endeavor people are local people."
Another unnamed source said these things were easy to predict in the mining sector due to the commodity prices. When prices were down for zinc and lead employees could almost expect to be laid off.
Mr Sulicich agreed.
"Everyone understands the current commodity climate, it's basically a result of depressed commodity prices for zinc and lead and our reserve position," he said.
The chief operating officer said he hoped the changes would be temporary.
"In the coming days we will engage with all our employees and put in place support services to assist people who are affected as a result of these changes," he said.
Cobar Shire Mayor, Lilliane Brady said the redundancies would have a big effect on the town.
"One-hundred-and-sixteen jobs is a lot of jobs and most Endeavor people are local people," she said.
"It will have a roll-on effect to our schools, hospitals and the town."
Cr Brady said it was terrible news for the town.
"These mines are doing what they can do to hold on, it's a bad time for mining towns," she said.