Canadian-based Kinross Gold has temporarily suspended mining and processing operations at its Tasiast mine in Mauritania.

The company said it could not safely continue full operations at the site safely after the Mauritanian Ministry of Labor announced on 17 June plans to ban certain international employees working there due to allegations of invalid work permits.

Kinross Gold said in a statement: "The company has taken all steps necessary to ensure that its work permits are in good standing and valid under Mauritanian law and to comply with the requisite formalities including the filing of all requests and applications in accordance with the stipulated timeframes.

"The company has taken all steps necessary to ensure that its work permits are in good standing."

"The company understands that a number of other institutions and companies in Mauritania are presently experiencing similar work permit issues with the Ministry of Labor."

Kinross is holding talks with the government of Mauritania to resolve the issue.

The open-pit Tasiast mine is located in north-western Mauritania, 300km north of Nouakchott.

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The mine has the capacity to process ore through an 8,000t per day mill and dump leach.

On 30 March, Kinross announced its plans to proceed with phase one of the Tasiast expansion, which is expected to increase mill throughput capacity from 8,000t/d to 12,000t/d.

This phase is expected to reach full production by the end of first quarter of 2018.