The Multinational Monitor


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Anaconda Copper Shuts Down Anaconda

Anaconda, Montana-home for 75 years of an Anaconda Copper smelting plant which gave the town its economic base-currently finds itself smelter-less. In September 1980, the Atlantic Richfield Corporation, which owns Anaconda Copper, decided to shut down the smelter, throwing 1,000 of the town's 10,000 people out of work.

The closing was an "economic decision," said John Calcaterra, public relations officer for Anaconda Copper, citing environmental regulations which would have cost $400 million to comply with and "would not increase production or improve our product." To replace the lost smelter capacity, the company intends to smelt more of its ore in Japan.

"I think Anaconda is for Anaconda. They're put out for the money: they're not worried about us," says Sandy Puccinelli, whose husband is an unemployed worker. "I guess they had their reasons. Big business is big business."

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