October 21, 2008 / 1:25 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-North American Palladium temporarily closes LDI mine

(Recasts; adds details)

Oct 21 (Reuters) - Canadian exploration and mining company North American Palladium Ltd PDL.TO PAL.A said it will temporarily close its Lac Des Iles mine due to depressed metal prices and layoff about 350 employees.

North American Palladium said due to the impact of recent adverse market conditions on global commodity prices, the Lac Des Iles mine is currently operating well below breakeven.

The company said it intends to restrict spending at the mine, while the management focuses on strategic options, including the evaluation of potential acquisitions and joint venture opportunities that may arise in these difficult markets.

“Declining sales and production in the automotive industry, the major consumer of palladium and platinum, suggest that PGM (platinum group metals) producers will face significant challenges in the near term,” the company said in a statement.

Shares of the company closed at C$1.80 Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Krishna Chaithanya in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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