Buller mayor Pat McManus says locals are resigned to losing the Holcim cement works from the district but hope the closure is still years away.
Holcim New Zealand says it will take its case for a new $400 million cement plant at Weston, near Oamaru, to its parent company early next year.
It says the Swiss-based company will compare the proposal with other international opportunities.
Mr McManus says relocation of the plant, which employs about 130 people, is just a matter of time.
He's hoping, however, that it will remain at Cape Foulwind for another 10 years.