Australian miner Mount Gibson Iron has temporarily stopped activity at its Koolan Island's main pit for four weeks, as a precautionary measure against instability in the upper part of the pit.
During this period, the Mount Gibson will monitor and repair the unstable section in the upper part of its southern pit wall.
Employees currently working in this pit will be transferred to other mining activities; however, Mount Gibson will continue operations outside the main pit and production at its Acacia East pit has been increased to account for the break.
According to the company, a slump occurred on 24 October which has reduced the effectiveness of a small section of the seawall. The affected area will be repaired for safe production to restart.
Four shipments of iron ore from the Koolan Island will be postponed this quarter due to the closure but Mount Gibson maintains its full year sales guidance of 6.6 million tonnes to 7 million tonnes.
The Koolan Island mining operation is located around 140km north of Derby in Yampi Sound, off the northern Kimberley coast of Western Australia.
In early 2007, Mount Gibson took control of the project through the acquisition of Aztec Resources and started the first shipments from the mine in June 2007.
Currently the mine produces three million tonnes of ore a year.
Image: The annual production of Koolan Island operation is three million tonnes. Photo: courtesy of Mount Gibson Iron.