Forest fire disrupts mining in northern Ontario

Tue May 22, 2012 9:56am EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - A forest fire near Kirkland Lake in northern Ontario has caused power outages and disrupted operations at mines owned by Kirkland Lake Gold Inc and AuRico Gold Inc, but there were no injuries or deaths reported as of Tuesday.

Kirkland Lake Gold said the fire caused no damage to its assets, located on the western end of the town of Kirkland Lake, about 600 km north of Toronto. A power line feeding into its mill was damaged.

The fire was still not under control on Tuesday morning, according to a Ministry of Natural Resources website.

In a statement on Monday, the company said it shut down and evacuated the mine, and all production activities have been halted until power is restored. A skeleton crew remains to secure the site and monitor the situation.

AuRico, which owns the Young-Davidson mine located about 70 kilometers west of Kirkland Lake, said the fire had damaged several power poles and disrupted electricity supply to its mine site.

The open pit mine was still operating, though ore-processing was suspended, the company said in a statement on Monday. AuRico expects its power supply to be re-established within a week.

Local media reports indicate that at least 300 people have been evacuated in the sparsely populated area.

(Reporting By Euan Rocha)