Canadian Mandalay Resources delays shipments to Chile due to ongoing protests
Canadian miner Mandalay Resources (TSX: MND, MND.WT) announced today that scheduled shipment of concentrate for February from the Cerro Bayo silver-gold mine in Chile has been delayed due to increasing public protests in the south of that country.
The demonstrations began approximately a week ago as a reaction to government action to reduce fuel subsidies. While the protests do not involve employees of the mine or relate to labour practices at the mine, said Mandalay, they have resulted in the temporary closure of the port facilities and many of the roads in the province, including the road leading to the mine.
“At this time management is focused on the safety of employees and ensuring the integrity of operations,” reads the statement.
Mandalay said it cannot yet predict the duration of the protests or their ultimate impact on the shipping and production schedule for Cerro Bayo in 2012 and is actively assisting local authorities in their attempts to bring the protests to a peaceful and swift resolution.
For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2011, the Cerro Bayo mine produced 2,109 ounces of gold and 395,296 ounces of silver.
Residents in Aysen, a sparsely populated Chilean Patagonian realm of glaciers and forests, have triggered controversy by asking neighbour Argentina to “adopt” them because they feel forgotten by Chile’s government. They have lit bonfires, blocked roads and clashed with police in a campaign for more support from the capital Santiago, 1,300km to the north.