Compass Minerals lays off workers at world’s largest underground salt mine

Despite reporting increased revenue and operating earnings in 2017’s last quarter, U.S.-listed Compass Minerals (NYSE:CMP) announced today that management fired 48 permanent workers from Goderich, the world’s largest underground salt mine.

The mine, named after the Ontario town where it is located, sits 1,800 feet under Lake Huron and provides a large portion of the 12.5 million tonnes of salt processed by Compass every year.

According to a press release, Goderich has undergone a modernization process in the past six years, aimed at improving efficiency, creating a safer work environment and reducing the mine’s environmental impact. “Compass Minerals has invested $225 million to ensure the longevity of the Goderich Mine, which included investment in the transition to continuous mining from the traditional drill and blast process,” the statement reads.

Following the updates, the firm anticipated layoffs would occur because more machinery was introduced and, thus, less manual labour is required. In the communique, Compass said that both the union and its workforce were informed about such possible development. “This restructuring is in keeping with the current collective bargaining agreement between the company and the union,” management said.