Noranda slashing over half of smelter workforce, may close plant

Noranda Aluminum Inc. has announced it will lay off 350 employees at the company’s New Madrid, Missouri, aluminum smelter by Feb. 4.

In a news release on the company’s website, Noranda cited low aluminum prices, the idling of two pot lines at the New Madrid facility and other business issues as the reasons for the layoffs.

This round of layoffs is in addition to a workforce reduction involving 190 employees, initiated Wednesday.

Beyond the layoffs, Noranda indicated the entire smelter facility could be at risk. It said Wednesday it planned to curtail the smelter’s remaining operations by March 12 “unless the company is able to secure a substantially more sustainable power rate” from Ameren Missouri, who has not offered Noranda a rate reduction.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Southeast Missourian

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