WHITEHALL – It was known that mining at the Golden Sunlight mine was coming to an end. But that doesn’t make it any easier for towns like Whitehall.
“It’s like a death. You know that it’s coming, but probably we’re just in the mourning stage right now,” said Whitehall Mayor Mary Janacaro Hensleigh.
The gold producing mine located east of Butte in Jefferson County is expected to close by May due to dwindling resources.
The mine currently employs about 55 people with well-paying jobs, many from the small town of Whitehall.
“It’ll definitely affect the town of Whitehall. A lot of our townspeople work at the Golden Sunlight mine and have for years,” said Hensleigh.
The mine, which has been in operation since 1980, was only expected to operate for about a dozen years but lasted longer than anticipated.
“The Golden Sunlight mine has been a wonderful neighbor to the town of Whitehall, to the school district to the town, they’ve just been an excellent neighbor and we’re going to miss them,” said the mayor.
While the Golden Sunlight mine is a major source of revenue for Jefferson County, the mayor of Whitehall notes that this is still a farming-based community and that she’s confident about the future of Whitehall.
“ Well, Whitehall’s a resilient community. Our main base is our farming and ranching community, so I think the people in Whitehall will bounce back. We always do,” she said.
The mine is expected to run its last haul of gold in May.