Capstone to temporarily stop operations at Minto copper mine in Canada

19 January 2016 (Last Updated January 19th, 2016 18:30)

Capstone Mining has announced plans to temporarily stop operations at its Minto copper mine in Canada in early April due to low copper prices.

Capstone Mining has announced plans to temporarily stop operations at its Minto copper mine in Canada in early April due to low copper prices.

Minto open-pit copper mine is 240km north of Whitehorse in central Yukon.

As part of its plans, Capstone is expected to close the underground operations of the mine in April, with open-pit operations stopping in August.

"Capstone is expected to close the underground operations of the mine in April, with open-pit operations stopping in August."

The company plans to cease mill and other operations in April 2017, when a care and maintenance crew would be placed at the mine site.

Mine manager Ron Light said that the company's decision will make around 40 contract miners redundant. Miners are employed by Dumas Mine Contracting and work underground.

Light added that ore from the mine site will be stockpiled to keep the mill operating until April 2017. If copper prices do not recover, a temporary closure would be implemented.

The Minto mine started commercial production in October 2007 at 1,800t per day, and uses conventional open-pit mining techniques and equipment for all of its ore and waste extraction.

It uses crushing, grinding and flotation to produce copper concentrates with gold and silver credits.

The company sold gold and silver at Minto in a streaming transaction to Silver Wheaton for the life of the mine.