Friday, 19 July 2013

Orvana Minerals deals with labour negotiations at UMZ mine amid "intermittent" strikes

Orvana Minerals (TSE:ORV) says that "intermittent work stoppages" are being seen at its Don Mario UMZ open-pit mine in Bolivia, as the company is in the midst of the annual union wage negotiations as mandated under Bolivian law. 
The strikes were started with formal notice from the union for a set short period of time. Orvana said Friday it is focused on finalizing the annual wage contract and bringing operations back to normal as soon as possible. 
"We expect to resolve these annual mandated wage negotiations in a timely manner and will provide an update once negotiations are complete," said interim president and CEO of Orvana, Michael Winship.            
Earlier this week, the miner announced the suspension of operations of its leach-precipitation-flotation (LPF) plant at its UMZ deposit for the foreseeable future, as a consequence of market conditions and other factors.
As a result of the suspension, management of the Toronto-based gold and copper producer says it expects to record a pre-tax impairment charge of approximately $6.5 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 relating to the copper-gold-silver Upper Mineralized Zone (UMZ) mine. The company expects to be able to complete a final impairment assessment by the release of its third quarter results. 
Orvana, a multi-mine producer with assets in Spain, Bolivia and the U.S., cited the costs of consumables for the plant and labour, which have increased substantially since start-up of the plant, as well as the fact that recoveries and maintenance of LPF oxide feed “have been inconsistent and more recently have been well below forecast”, according to a company statement released with the announcement.

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