Road blockade forces Rio Alto to suspend production at its Peruvian mine

Vancouver-based Rio Alto Mining Limited (TSX, BVL: RIO, NYSE: RIOM, DB Frankfurt: MS2) announced it has temporarily suspended mining activities at its La Arena gold oxide mine due to a blockade of the Trujillo to Huamachuco public road by a group led by the Central Unica de Rondas Campesinas (CURC).

The Trujillo to Huamachuco road is the company’s main access route for people and supplies.

On May 29, the CURC in the Sanchez Carrion-La Libertad province declared an indefinite blockade on all the public access roads in the area. They are protesting the Peruvian judicial system, the local district attorney and the state police force.

Since then, the La Arena gold mine has been able to operate normally on backup supplies. On Monday, however, fuel stocks ran down to a level where mining and civil construction activities had to cease. The remaining fuel will be sufficient to run the mine’s gold processing facilities for another 14 days.

Rio Alto’s total gold production during 2013 may be negatively impacted due to this situation.

La Arena gold/copper project is located in north central Peru, the most prolific gold mining district in the country, and contains 3.9 million ounces gold and 2.0 billion pounds copper in measured and indicated resources with additional inferred resources of 2.2 million ounces gold and 2.1 billion pounds copper.

First gold production at La Arena occurred on May 6, 2011 and 201,113 ounces of gold were poured in 2012.

Image courtesy Rio Alto