Toronto-based TVX Gold Inc. has backed out of a plan to move its operations group here.
The mining company signed a six-year lease in The Spokesman-Review building on Northwest Boulevard in Coeur d’Alene and had intended to employ 23 people. The office was expected to open today.
But a change in top management at the company brought about a re-evaluation of the decision to put an office here, said Peter Erbland, attorney for TVX at Paine Hamblen Coffin Brooke & Miller in Coeur d’Alene.
TVX will do more exploration in Eastern Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union, and less exploration in the western United States, Erbland said. Moving the operations group made less sense with this new focus, he said.
TVX had interests in six mines and was operating two of them, TVX executive and Wallace native Michael Werner said in an interview earlier this year. He helped persuade TVX to move the operations group here. Werner did not return phone calls to his office in Toronto Wednesday.
The operations group manages all TVX properties. Under the canceled plan, it would have moved while the financial and accounting units of the company would have remained in Toronto, Werner said.
Three operations group executives had already bought homes in Coeur d’Alene, and those homes will be relisted on the market, Erbland said.
The 6,883-square-foot third floor of The Spokesman-Review building will be leased out, Erbland said. The company invested $400,000 in improvements to the space, which will be completed by next week. “It’s some of the finest office space available,” he said.
The law firm of Witherspoon Kelley Davenport & Toole had to move its office from the third floor to the fourth floor of the building to accommodate TVX.
TVX Gold’s mines are in Montana, Greece, Brazil, Chile and Canada. It settled a suit with Spokane’s Gold Reserve Corp. over a Venezuelan gold property last year, becoming a major shareholder in the company through the settlement.
“It’s unfortunate because it’s a very good company,” Erbland said. “The decision was in no way a reflection on Coeur d’Alene. It was merely a business decision.”