Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council's CEO, Jeremy Kouw, said it was a particularly challenging time on the West Coast with the additional uncertainty of the Mt Lyell mine. "Our thoughts are with the staff and their communities," Mr Kouw said.
Henty Gold Mine will switch to Care and Maintenance at the end of 2015 if exploration is not successful in discovering extensions to the existing ore bodies.
The mine, which was purchased by Unity Mining in 2009, employs about 150 staff. It has been a significant contributor to the Tasmanian economy. In the last 12 months alone, Unity has expended around $60 million on employee wages, contractors and suppliers, the vast majority of which was spent in the local economy.
"The mine started in 1996 with a mine life of just four years," Mr Kouw said. "So it's been a wonderful bonus that the mine has operated for 18 years when you take into consideration the initial mine life estimate."
"I'm a believer in the saying, 'it's not over until it's over.' It's helpful to remain positive and hope that Unity Mining find additional ore bodies to extend the time line of their operation and the employment that offers regional communities in Tasmania.
"At a time like this it becomes all the more important to ensure we have a pipeline of opportunities so as we see ore bodies reaching their expiry stage, we have new projects like Venture Minerals coming on line and offering new employment opportunities on the West Coast."