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North Bay crypto company packs up, moves out

Hut 8 empties out facility, hands out pinkslips
Validus North Bay power plant (BayToday photo)

Hut 8 Mining has emptied out its former North Bay data centre of digital equipment and issued pinkslips to a handful of local employees.

The Toronto-based crypto currency generator is tied up in a legal dispute with its one-time power supplier, Validus Power, and its Bay Power subsidiary, related to a power purchase agreement to supply the Highway 11 facility with energy.

In a news release this week, the company said it has removed its “miners” from the North Bay site and shipped them to its Medicine Hat, AB, operation, one of two data centres in Alberta. All the electrical equipment from the site were transported to an undisclosed location to storage “pending relocation.”

“We are assessing energization options for the approximately 7,000 miners that were relocated from North Bay, which represent approximately 680 PH/s (peta hash) of capacity,” the company said in the release.

Hut 8’s departure means the loss of handful of local jobs.

“We have transitioned our site manager into a new role within our mining business, and after employing five team members through the interim period since operations ceased, we made the difficult decision to lay them off,” said Erin Dermer, Hut 8’s senior vice-president for communications and culture, in an email.

“We wish them the very best and hope we’re able to work with them again in the future."

The company moved to North Bay two years ago, promising as many as 30 high-skill jobs.

Hut 8 bills itself as one of the largest “largest innovation-focused digital asset miners” in North America with two remaining digital “mining” sites in Medicine Hat and Drumheller, Alberta.

Early last month, Hut 8 announced it has signed a “merger of equals”deal with Florida-based U.S. Data Mining Group. The combined company will be named Hut 8 Corp. and will be domiciled in the U.S.