August 25, 2016 / 10:07 PM / 3 years ago

Kinross suspends operations at Chile mine, lays off 300 workers

People look on during the Kinross Gold Corporation annual general meeting for shareholders in Toronto, May 9, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

(Reuters) - Canadian miner Kinross Gold Corp (K.TO) said it has suspended operations at its Maricunga gold mine in Chile, and will lay off 300 employees after a judicial decision upheld a regulator’s move to shut down the water system linked to the mine.

The environmental authority began a legal process that sought to close Maricunga’s water pumping wells in March.

Kinross said it vigorously opposed the authority’s actions and has various appeals pending with Chile’s Environmental Tribunal.

The company said the suspension of operations at the mine, originally scheduled for the fourth quarter, was unlikely to affect its 2016 production and cost forecast.

The Maricunga mine accounted for 8 percent of the company’s total gold production in 2015.

Reuters reported last week, that the company is looking to retreat from Chile and has put its main assets in it up for sale, according to people familiar with the process.

Kinross also said it resumed operations at its Tasiast mine in Mauritania in mid-August, following its temporary suspension caused by an expatriate work permit issue.

Reporting by Vishaka George in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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