Cobar's Endeavor Mine will shed almost two-thirds of its workforce as it winds back production, a move that's anticipated could be felt all the way to Dubbo.
CBH Resources announced on Wednesday it would reduce 161 full-time employees and 40 contractors by 130 positions, leaving just 71 people at the operation.
The lead and zinc miner, a major employer in the drought-affected town, said it was a result of ongoing cash losses through 2019 as the orebody came towards the end of its current reserve.
Cobar mayor Lilliane Brady OAM said she and the acting general manager of Cobar Shire Council had met with mine management earlier on Wednesday, when they had been informed of the plan and lay-offs.
Cr Brady said the cut in production would have economic impacts beyond the town.
"Everyone would be concerned, I'm sure Dubbo will be concerned too because the Cobar people spend so much money down in Dubbo, so they [would] have to be a little bit concerned too," she said.
"It's not a good feeling, but we live in a mining town and this happens."
Cr Brady reported of work going on to ensure affected workers would be supported.
The mayor said more would be known on Monday about "who may get put off and those that don't".
"We've got negotiations going on, and probably next week we'll be able to tell the community more, what is going on," Cr Brady said.
"The Premier's office and Cobar Shire [Council] and the mines are all rallying together, and we'll just see what we can do."
Endeavor announced production would be reduced to a minimum level of about 17,000 tonnes per month for the remainder of 2019.
This decision has not been taken lightly.Endeavor chief operating officer Visko Sulicich
At the same time it would be partially completing infill drilling of the "inferred Deep Zinc Lode Resource to better appraise its future viability".
"This decision has not been taken lightly," chief operating officer Visko Sulicich said.
"In the coming days we will consult with all our employees and put in place support services to assist people who are affected as a result of these changes."
It's the second time in just over three years that there's been large lay-offs at the mine, located about 50 kilometres north of Cobar.
In February 2016 the operation announced its working population of 176 would be reduced to just 60.
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