Nickel said today that “a number of mining contractors” are being laid off due to the “current shortfall in work across the industry”, and that the company is bringing its previously planned six-month drill program to a temporary halt.

The Australian nickel explorer made the announcement in a news release touting a major reserve and resource upgrade at its Mr. Windarra project. The company announced a 121% increase in Probable nickel ore reserves at Mt Windarra. The reserves increased to 498,000 tonnes at 1.78% nickel for 8,850 tonnes of nickel metal.

The company is down 3.85% after announcing the news to 12.5 cents a share. The company has lost 28.6% since the start of the year.

The company’s chair Andrew Forrest is trying to raise A$200 million in debt to fund the project so far without success.

The downturn bodes an ill wind for Clive Palmer’s Townsville Nickel refinery.

Some reports claim up to 1000 workers could soon lose their jobs which would devastate an already economically crippled Townsville. and staff writers