Canadian intermediate gold mining company New Gold has said that it has temporarily shut down the mill at the Rainy River mine, located in northern Ontario, to assess a build-up of water in the tailings management area (TMA).
The company said that excess water has built up due to a rapid spring melt and large snow pack in northern Ontario.
It said that the mill was shut down last week to facilitate the pumping of 700,000m³ of excess water from the TMA to the water management pond (WMP) expects the mill be fully operational within five days, depending on precipitation levels during this period.
However, the company said that the temporary shutdown is not expected to have an impact on its production guidance.
To manage the excess water, the management at the Rainy River mine is pumping water from the TMA to the WMP.
The company has installed extra pumping capacity and more pumping capacity is being added to expedite the transfer of water.
New Gold said that it is working with the regulators to expedite the deposition of tailings into cell 3, which would improve overall TMA water management.
Following the shutdown of the mill, the company has also accelerated the maintenance activities that were planned to be taken up later in May.
The company said that mining and crushing operations have not been affected and ore is being stockpiled and segregated for processing when the mill resumes operations.
Management expects any production delays to be offset so that the company can achieve its annual production guidance.
New Gold CEO Renaud Adams said: “Management is addressing the issue of excess water appropriately and in a manner that is consistent with our commitment to protecting our environment.
“We remain focused on executing our current mine plan and are confident that the mill will resume normal operations soon.”
New Gold is also the owner of New Afton mine in Canada, the Cerro San Pedro mine in Mexico, and the Blackwater project in Canada.