June 7, 2010 / 12:11 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 1-Capstone suspends Minto mine ops due to wildfire

* Says mine workforce to be reduced to maintenance crew

* Says fire is expected to spread

* Authorities trying to prevent fire from reaching mine

June 7 (Reuters) - Canada’s Capstone Mining Corp (CS.TO) said it will suspend mining and milling operations at its Minto mine for five to seven days due to a spreading wildfire, and workforce will be reduced to a maintenance crew only. The wildfire, which was spreading along the west bank of the Yukon river, has turned westward over the past two days and is now just over 6 kilometers from the mine, the company said in a statement.

Quoting the Yukon Wildland Fire Management (YWFM), Capstone said the fire is expected to continue to spread due to the weather conditions and the abundance of dry, fallen timber from previous forest fires. YWFM plans to commence a back burn around the Minto mine site, pre-burning available fuel for the fire under controlled conditions to prevent the wildfire reaching the mine property, the company said.

The Minto mine is a high-grade open pit copper-gold mine, and is located in the Yukon, Canada.

Shares of the company closed at C$2.20 Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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