Glencore to close Dominican Republic nickel mine

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Mining group Glencore Xstrata PLC says it will temporarily close the Falcondo nickel mine in the Dominican Republic that it had been seeking to expand amid environmental opposition.

Falcondo mine spokesman Alain Astacio says the mine will close for an estimated two to three years because of falling nickel prices. The company is laying off 900 of 1,000 employees and about 700 contractors.

The ferronickel mine is north of Santo Domingo in the Bonao region of the country. The mine last closed in 2008 and reopened in 2011.

The company had been seeking an expansion to extend the life of the mine. A U.N. panel had warned the project would threaten water, wildlife and wetlands in the area and Congress recently declared the area around the mine a national park.

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