Canadian gold and silver mining company Tahoe Resources Inc said on Wednesday that it believed there was an attempt to illegally extract gold at its La Arena mine in Peru.
The company said in a statement that its preliminary investigation showed that five holes had been dug on top of a pipeline carrying a solution of gold and cyanide and bags of carbon were placed on the holes to steal gold from the solution.
It said one of the bags of carbon blocked the pipeline, causing a leak and the solution flowed into a stormwater collection pond designed to discharge clean water into the Sayapampa Creek.
The company said it expects that repairs will be made over the next several days and it does not anticipate a material effect on production.
Tahoe Resources said it reported the incident to the Agency for Environmental Assessment and Control (OEFA), the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), the police and the public prosecutor.
The company said last week that 12 security contract workers at its Guatemalan unit were abducted and held for hours on Friday before being released.
(Reporting by Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru.)