A decision to make Barrick Gold’s renowned Hemlo mine a “smaller” operation is expected to extend its operating life “well into the future,” but the exact number of workers that could be negatively impacted by the move was unclear Thursday.

In a news release, Barrick said it has asked the “majority” of its underground employees to “voluntarily” leave the company, as the operation transitions to being contracted out.

It’s not clear how many workers are being asked to leave. In the recent past, Barrick has pegged Hemlo’s direct and contracted workforce at about 700 combined.
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