SSR Mining slumps as Turkey shuts gold mine after cyanide spill

The Çöpler mine in eastern Turkey. Image by Alacer Gold.

SSR Mining Inc. slumped in Toronto trading as Turkey suspended operations at its Copler gold mine after a spill of cyanide waste.

SSR Mining, which owns 80% of the operation through its Anagold Madencilik unit, fell as much as 21%, before trading down 11%. Mining can’t resume until work is undertaken to improve the situation, Turkey’s Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Ministry said in a Twitter post. The ministry didn’t specify what work was required. Anagold was fined 16.4 million liras ($991,000), it said.

“We’re halting operations of the gold mine due to a fault at its pipelines,” the ministry said Monday.

A spill containing about 8 kilograms (17.6 pounds) of depleted cyanide took place on June 21, according to a statement on Anagold’s website. Copler, about 650 miles (1,046 kilometers) east of Istanbul in the province of Erzincan, had been expected to produce as much as 285,000 ounces of gold this year, according to a presentation on SSR Mining’s website.

The “minor leak” of cyanide within a diluted solution was cleaned up without any environmental impact or discharge from the site, SSR Mining said in a statement Monday. The company said it’s seeking a formal response from the ministry.

(By Taylan Bilgic and Geoffrey Morgan)

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