Phelps Dodge Corporation (NYSE: PD) says it will close temporarily two U.S. wire and cable plants, one of which is in North Carolina, and take other actions to improve efficiencies and consolidate its wire and cable operations.

These actions will result in the elimination of 345 jobs and a one-time, third-quarter charge to operating income of approximately $6 million for severance and severance-related costs, Phelps says.

The actions include temporary closure of the magnet wire plant in Laurinburg, NC, at the end of this year, with production being shifted to the facilities in El Paso, TX, and Fort Wayne, IN. Also included is the temporary closure of the high performance conductors facility in West Caldwell, NJ. To meet customer needs, Phelps says production of certain products will be relocated to the company’s Inman, SC, facility.

Additionally, operational and production support at the facilites in Inman, Trenton, GA, and Elizabeth, NJ, will be streamlined to reduce costs and increase operating efficiencies, the company says. Several business services also will be transferred from Coral Gables, FL, to Fort Wayne to be integrated into the magnet wire unit, and to Inman to be integrated with the high performance conductors unit.

Phelps Dodge Corp. is the world’s second-largest producer of copper, the largest producer of molybdenum-based chemicals and continuous-cast copper rod, and among the leading producers of magnet wire and carbon black. The company’s two divisions, Phelps Dodge Mining Company and Phelps Dodge Industries, employ approximately 14,500 people in 27 countries.

Phelps Dodge Corp.: