April 7, 2011 / 2:06 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-Ivernia shuts Australian mine indefinitely; shares tumble

* To cut 195 of 235 jobs at mine, Perth office

* To place lead mine under full care and maintenance

* Says unsure of when operations will restart

* Shares fall 23 percent to nine-year low (Adds details, background, updates shares)

April 7 (Reuters) - Ivernia Inc said it expects to place its flagship lead mine in western Australia under full care and maintenance for an indefinite period and lay off about 83 percent of related workforce amid environmental concerns surrounding the mine, sending its shares down 23 percent to a nine-year low.

The Canada-based company said the Magellan mine is expected to be under full care and maintenance by April 15.

It had halted operations at the mine on Tuesday after lead was found in mud samples taken from shipping containers from the Magellan mine - raising environmental concerns. [ID:nL3E7F52IA]

At that time Ivernia said it wanted to confirm if the mud samples that contained the lead were from the mine site or a rail yard owned by another party but added that there was no risk to public safety.

The company did not say on Thursday if it got the results of the test samples or why the mine was placed under care and maintenance.

In late February, the Australian government had lifted a two-month shipment ban on the company after it found that the lead levels in the air were within allowable limits. [ID:nL3E7DN0DC]

In mid-March Ivernia had said that it would resume regular transportation from the mine within a few days. [ID:nL3E7EH2ID]

The company’s shares were down 21 percent at C$0.22 in Thursday afternoon trade, making them the second biggest loser on the on the Toronto Stock Exchange. They touched a nine-year low of C$0.215 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Amruta Sabnis in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel, Roshni Menon)

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