Canadian Kinross Gold Corporation's has started closing up operations at its La Coipa gold and silver mine in northern Chile, by announcing a “partial suspension,” according to reports by local newspaper El Nortero.
The closure is coming sooner than expected, according to unionized employees at Compañía Minera Mantos de Oro, Kinross’s subsidiary in Chile, the firm had announced the closure would happen in the second half of this year.
Agustin Latorre, spokesperson for the Mining Federation of Chile, a group representing major mining unions in the country, the temporary closure will leave more than 1,000 workers unemployed.
The company, has said it continues to assess the remaining mineral reserves and resources and exploration potential at the openpit mine, including the potential of an expansion —known as La Coipa Phase 7 (Pompeya)— which could starts operation in about a year, based on the current mine plan.Kinross Gold, fifth in world gold production rankings, produced 81.5 t (2.62 million oz) of gold equivalent in 2012. This volume exceeded the Kinross’ guidance of 77.t to 80.1 t (2.5 to 2.6 million oz) of gold equivalent and is 3 percent higher than 2011 production totals (79 t or 2.54 million oz of gold equivalent).