‘Very strong balance sheet’: Myra Falls Mine owner Trafigura has record profits, lays off 300

'Very strong balance sheet': Myra Falls Mine owner Trafigura has record profits, lays off 300

The Western Lima, an ore-carrying freighter, was tied up at the Myra Falls Mine shipping port in Campbell River on Friday to pick up the last load of zinc from the mine, according the worker’s union Unifor.

The company behind the mine, Trafigura, laid off nearly 300 people on Monday, saying in a statement: “Unfortunately increased operating costs and depressed metal prices over a sustained period of time mean the operation is no longer financially viable”

But workers were caught off guard considering the parent company’s deep pockets.

Trafigura’s own website shows record net profits for 2023 of of $7.4 billion (USD).

As well, a corporate video posted to the site just nine days before the layoffs includes the executive chairman and CEO Jeremy Weir talking about the year’s successes, including in minerals and metals.

“We have got a very strong balance sheet. We’ve got a very strong business flow. We have very strong operational performance across our entire divisions,” he said in the video. “Oil, power and gas, and also minerals and metals and bulk commodities all performed very, very well across that period.”

And while the company blames “depressed metal prices” for the closure, zinc prices came off a 10 year high of almost $3,500 USD per metric ton in 2022.


Myra Falls mine is now in bankruptcy protection, leaving workers shut out and dozens of creditors out millions of dollars.

Dave Smith is one of the creditors. He owns Comox Coach and Shuttle that transported workers to and from the mine southwest of Campbell River every day.

He’s owed over $130,000.

“The Supreme Court of B.C. gives them creditor protection when their parent company is worth $90 billion and you see the creditor list that I think is five pages long, $231 million they owe,” he told CHEK News. “We leased four highway coaches specifically for the mine contract which was guaranteed by Trafigura. We’re paying $17,000 a month leasing these buses, which we have to do for the next four years.”

Meanwhile, the City of Campbell River is joining forces with the province, local First Nations, Unifor and the workers to get them support.

“For example, we know there are jobs in the community and region and we’re looking at ways where perhaps we can play the matchmaker,” said Rose Klukas, director of economic development and indigenous relations for the City of Campbell River.

The first meeting is being set up for January.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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