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Kinross workers end strike at Mauritania mine

Water sampling at Tasiast gold mine. (Image courtesy of Kinross Gold.)

Unionized workers at Kinross Gold’s (TSX:K) (NYSE:KGC) Tasiast mine in Mauritania have suspended their strike at the request of the government, the company said on Friday.

The Canadian gold miner said the shutdown, which started May 5, is not expected to “materially affect” 2020 production. The company also said the labour action shouldn’t impact ongoing work on the “Tasiast 24k” expansion project, which aims to increase throughput by more than 50% for an initial capital cost of $150 million.

The open-pit mine, located in northwestern Mauritania, about 300 km north of the capital Nouakchott, produced 391,097 gold-equivalent ounces in 2019. The figure was significantly higher than the 250,965 ounces it churned out the year before.

Tasiast’s expansion will incrementally increase throughputs to 24,000 tonnes a day by mid-2023, up from the current 12,000 tonnes per day range. It will also extend the mine life four years, to 2033.  

Kinross’ goal is to produce 563,000 ounces of gold a year at the mine by 2023.