Closure of B2Gold's Nicaragua gold mine has cost more than $1 mln
MANAGUA Oct 5 (Reuters) - An extended labor dispute at a Nicaraguan gold mine owned by Canada's B2Gold Corp has cost the company more than $1 million to date, the company said on Monday.
Operations at El Limon Mine, located about 89 miles (143 km) northwest of the capital Managua, have been closed for 10 days due to what the company calls an illegal blockade that has prevented workers and materials from arriving at the site, company spokeswoman Anne Perez said.
Vancouver-based B2Gold, in a statement, blamed "a small group of workers, community members, and other persons not affiliated with El Limon Mine" for the blockade, saying that the incident is tied to the earlier dismissal of three employees.
If the blockade is lifted and operations resume with "a timely resolution," the company said it expects to still meet its production target of 55,000 to 65,000 ounces of gold this year.
The company added that it continues to work with government officials and a couple of local unions to reach a solution.
(Reporting by Ivan Castro; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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