Mine Exec. Says Laid-Off Workers Will Be Paid

ELKO, Nev. (AP) - The chief executive of a shuttered Elko County
gold mine says 400 laid-off workers will receive severance pay and
health benefits as required by law.

Yukon-Nevada Gold Corp. chief Graham Dickson on Friday denied
what he called "rumors" that miners laid off from the Jerritt Canyon Mine would not receive severance pay and heath coverage.

He told the Elko Daily Free Press that former employees would get 60 days of severance pay, though not in a lump sum.

"As far as I know, they still have health insurance," he added.

Under federal law, health insurance must be offered to any employee for up to three months following a layoff - providing the employee pays the deductible.

Dickson said he could not discuss specifics the abrupt closure of the mine Thursday in northern Elko County and the 400 layoffs that have occurred since Aug. 8.

In a statement released Friday, the company, based in Vancouver,
British Columbia, said it was facing a "liquidity problem."

"The company is working hard to fulfill its statutory obligations to its employees, such as continuing health coverage and the payment of all suppliers," said the unsigned statement. "To address the liquidity problem at the Jerritt Canyon operation, the company is now focused on refinancing to ensure obligations are met and to move forward to regain positive cash flow."

The newspaper reported that some former Yukon-Nevada employees
had been unable to cash their final paychecks Friday after bankers
advised them company accounts had been frozen or there was
uncertainty they would clear.

Elko Attorney Robert Salyer said he had been contacted by some former workers.

Salyer would not comment on possible litigation but said the focus of the complaints has been the 60-day severance package.
Information from: Elko Daily Free Press,

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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