Layoffs and IOUs at Lisbon Valley Mine
The Lisbon Valley Mining Company has laid off all workers at its mining and milling operations in San Juan County and announced that it is not able to pay the workers for their work.
The actions leave an estimated 65 local workers without a paycheck and facing an uncertain future.
In a statement, company officials said, “Employee paychecks that are scheduled to be deposited on March 20 will be delayed until LVMC (Lisbon Valley Mining Company) is able to liquidate some of its assets.”
Operations at the Lisbon Valley mill closed on March 18 after the financing collapse of a loan which was expected to provide coverage for the business during a transition. Lisbon officials said the lending party withdrew the offer as a result of the economic turmoil triggered by the global health crisis.
Company officials said the loan was expected to close on March 13, but the late notice limited the pursuit of alternative financing options.
Officials stated, “As a result, LVMC had no choice but to make the decision to quickly shut down all operations.”
The Lisbon Valley mine and mill has extracted copper from ore for nearly 20 years from operations 15 miles northeast of Monticello. It has been one of the largest private employers in the county.
Market prices for copper, combined with other economic factors, resulted in difficult times for the plant. The company owes more than $1.4 million in property tax to San Juan County.
The closure and layoffs at Lisbon Valley are the latest actions in what is developing into an unprecedented economic event in San Juan County.
The threat of the COVID-19 virus has impacted the tourism, industrial, health care, education, and small business sectors.
Natalie Randall, who directs economic development efforts for San Juan County, said the downturn is impacting just about every corner and every business in the county.
Randall said her office is working with state and federal agencies on a variety of initiatives to address the challenges related to the downturn.
Two specific websites have been set up UtahsCanyonCountry.com/covid-19 for local businesses and UtahsCanyonCountry.com/covid19-travel for visitors.
The economic development office is sending daily updates to businesses. Sign up for the updates at the business website listed above.
Randall said San Juan County has not closed to visitors, but the public health office has suggested that people avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
People throughout the area are keeping their distance from one another in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.
There have been no verified cases of the illness in San Juan County or throughout eastern Utah.