Cornish china clay job losses announced

China clay pit Imerys said its aim was to secure the long-term future of the industry in Cornwall

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Seventy jobs are to go at a china clay business in Cornwall, it has been announced.

Imerys, based near St Austell, said the losses were a result of a restructure within its mid-Cornwall operations.

A spokesman said its aim was to secure the long-term future of the china clay industry in the county.

More than 60 jobs were axed at the firm in April, with others being relocated from the company's laboratories in St Austell to Heathfield in Devon.

The spokesman said the firm "very much regrets that it is necessary to take these actions and recognises that this is a difficult time for all its employees".

"Every effort will be made to achieve the proposed reductions through voluntary redundancy but compulsory redundancies may also be necessary."

St Austell and Newquay Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Gilbert said any job loss was "devastating for the individuals and families concerned".

"I will be working closely with Imerys and local support agencies to make sure that individuals are able to access help to find new work as quickly as possible," he said.

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