Highlights from the

Herald Democrat

10 Years Ago

Workers sought for open pit preparation at Climax

by Marcia Martinek

Herald Editor

January 27, 2011

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Job are being posted, probably this week, for some 145 positions at the Climax Mine working in an open pit preparation project, according to Climax Community Relations Manager Tara Hosick.

The positions will be posted on the Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) website, as well as through the Colorado Workforce Center.

These are not contract jobs; workers will be employed by Freeport-McMoRan. When this project is completed, these employees will have the option to apply to continue working for the mine.

FCX is now looking at 385 positions at Climax when the mine is at full-time production, which is higher than the 300 positions originally estimated, Hosick said.

Although no definite start-up date has been given for the mine yet, Richard Adkerson, president and chief executive officer, said last week that construction is advancing at the mine to “give us the ability to make the decision to start it up.”

Adkerson was speaking during the FCX earnings call for the fourth quarter of 2010.

Climax is a $700 million project, Adkerson said, with remaining costs of $450 million. FCX plans call for spending $350 million in 2011, which means that by the end of this year, the mine will be nearing completion.

Once Climax begins operation, it is designed to produce 30 million pounds of molybdenum annually.

“It has the resource to allow us to consider really significant expansion options beyond that,” Adkerson said.

Later, in response to an analyst question regarding the earliest the Climax Mine could reopen, Adkerson said 2012 and then said early 2012 would be the earliest.

Hosick said FCX would be working with the Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce on available labor and available housing studies focused on the restart of the mine.

According to the quarterly report, net income attributable to common stock for fourth-quarter 2010 was $1.5 billion, $3.25 per share, compared to net income of $971 million, $2.15 per share for fourth-quarter 2009. Net income attributable to common stock for the year 2010 was $4.3 billion, $9.14 per share, compared to $2.5 billion, $5.86 per share for the year 2009.

As far as molybdenum is concerned, consolidated sales from mines for fourth-quarter 2010 totaled 17 million pounds of molybdenum, compared to 16 million pounds of molybdenum for fourth-quarter 2009. Consolidated sales for the year 2010 totaled 67 million pounds of molybdenum, compared to 58 million pounds of molybdenum for the year 2009.

Consolidated sales from mines for the year 2011 are expected to approximate 70 million pounds of molybdenum.

As of Jan. 19, cost per pound of molybdenum oxide was $17.13, according to Metals Week.

County officials deny

deputies weren’t paid

by Robert Boczkiewicz

Special to the

Herald Democrat

*******

Lake County government officials are denying the allegations of sheriff’s deputies that they were not paid - purportedly in violation of federal law - for all of the hours they worked.

Nine current and former deputies made the allegation in a lawsuit they filed in October in U.S. District Court under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The denials were made in recent court filings by the defendants: the county commissioners, County Clerk Patricia Berger and former sheriff Edward Holte.

Newly elected Sheriff Rodney Fenske took office Jan. 11. The lawsuit pertains to the years when Holte was sheriff.

The deputies allege the officials violated the act by not paying the deputies for hours 81 through 86 when they worked more than 86 hours in a 14-day pay cycle. They were paid time and a half for hours over 86.

Holte, through his attorney, contends he did not violate the law because the deputies “received an annual salary, which fully compensated them for every hour they worked up to and including 86.”

Holte’s position is that the act “does not require an employer to pay law enforcement officers hourly wages, at either standard or overtime rates, for any hours that do not exceed 86 per 14-day work period.”

The former sheriff also asserts “he is not responsible” because he did not have authority under state law to adjust the wages without approval of the commissioners “and did not take such action.”

Instead, Holte says he “advocated” for the deputies to the limit of his authority.

In a separate response, the commissioners and Berger made a general denial of the allegations.

In a third filing, the commissioners contend the lawsuit, as it pertains to them, “is frivolous and groundless.” They assert they relied upon legal counsel for all actions related to the deputies involving the federal pay act.

The deputies want a court decision that would require the county to pay “all unpaid compensation,” plus damages equal to that amount.

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