Atalaya Mining has temporarily suspended usage of tailings facility at its Rio Tinto copper project in Andalucía, Spain, after receiving an information request from the Junta de Andalucía.

The company provided all relevant reports to the Junta and hopes that it will result in the lifting of the provisional suspension soon.

Also known as Proyecto Riotinto, the Rio Tinto copper project is 100%-owned by Atalaya and uses independent surveyors for the design, operation and supervision of the tailings facilities.

"The stoppage is not expected to have any material effect on the company’s results."

Atalaya said that despite suspending usage of tailings facility, mining operations are unaffected and are continuing at normal rates.

The company said in a statement: "The stoppage is not expected to have any material effect on the company’s results because the time will be used for routine plant maintenance and as an opportunity to integrate the expansion project into existing facilities, which is expected to start commissioning in the next few weeks."

Atalaya Mining declared commercial production at Proyecto Riotinto as of 1 February 2016 at an initial processing rate of 5Mtpa.

At present, more than 250 employees and some 400 contractors are working on-site.

In January, Atalaya said that it decided to consolidate phase I expansion project and phase II expansion project into a single project to increase synergies between both phases.

The expansion project to increase processing capacity to 9.5Mtpa is currently progressing.