(Reuters) - Kinross Gold Corp said on Wednesday it expected to suspend operations at a Chilean gold mine in the fourth quarter as it posted a second-quarter loss that exceeded forecasts.
The world's fifth largest gold miner by output said in its earnings report that it expected to halt mining at Maricunga and start rinsing residual gold from the heap leach pads, equipment used to extract the metal.
The decision followed an assessment of the mine's plan in the context of the Toronto-based company's global capital priorities, it said.
Chile's environmental regulator shut down the water system attached to the Maricunga mine in March, citing environmental damage which Kinross disputes. Mining was suspended in May but resumed in July, subject to ongoing regulatory proceedings.
Maricunga, a mid-sized mine, produced 44,304 gold equivalent ounces in the second quarter, down from 47,713 ounces in the year-ago period. That is equal to about 6 percent of Kinross' total production of 671,267 ounces.
Citing a lack of rainfall at its Paracatu mine in Brazil, Kinross said it now expected to temporarily suspend operation of Plant 1, which treats softer near-surface ore, in the second half of the third quarter until water levels rise enough to allow a restart.
Kinross did not change its production or cost outlook for the year.
Kinross reported an adjusted net loss of $9.8 million, or 1 cent per share, in the quarter ended June 30. That was smaller than the loss of $13.6 million, or 1 cent per share, in the year-ago period but below analysts' expectations for 1 cent a share.
The miner said it had resolved an expatriate work permit issue with the government of Mauritania and expected to resume normal operations at its Tasiast mine in August. Operations were suspended in June. Kinross said on Wednesday it had agreed to employ more local workers at the mine.
Kinross, which has 10 mines in North and South America, Africa and Russia, produced 671,267 equivalent ounces of gold during the quarter, up from 660,898 ounces in the same period last year.
All-in sustaining costs to produce an ounce of gold, an industry cost benchmark, fell to $988 from $1,011 in the year-ago quarter.
Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Richard Chang