A strike by unionised employees has forced First Quantum Minerals to temporarily halt operations at its Guelb Moghrein copper-gold mine in Mauritania.
The company has not revealed the nature of the issues nor identified the striking employees, but is negotiating with workers to reach a resolution.
First Quantum said in a statement: "While these efforts continue, steps are now being undertaken to further scale back management resources at site until a decision to restart normal operations is made."
The strike is expected to affect the company’s production for this year, which is expected to be between 35,000t and 39,000t of copper and between 50,000oz and 60,000oz of gold. Last year, the mine produced 37,970t of copper and 58,191oz of gold.
First Quantum purchased an 80% stake in Guelb Moghrein in 2004 and started production in 2006. The company then increased its ownership of the project to 100% in 2010.
In late July this year, similar labour disruptions were witnessed at First Quantum’s Minera Panama copper project located near the Caribbean coast.
In addition to the Guelb Moghrein mining concession and Minera Panama operations, First Quantum holds four more exploration concessions in the region.
Image: First Quantum’s Guelb Morghrein copper-gold mine in Mauritania. Photo: courtesy of First Quantum Minerals Ltd.