Mexican mining company Industrias Peñoles announced on January 5th that it was suspending operations at its Naica lead, zinc and silver mine in Chihuahua state in the wake of flooding last week.
It did not say how long the suspension would last.
The company said in a statement to the Mexican Stock Exchange that on January 1st, there had been “extraordinary flow of water from the same geo-hydrological structure in which the ore body is located, which caused significant partial flooding of the mine."
The flooding caused no injuries, the company said.
It said that once the situation was under control, “with special attention to the security and integrity of employees and contractors,” and an assessment had been made of the mine’s infrastructure, it would be in a position to provide further information about the cause and impact of the incident.
The mine produced 14,862 tonnes of lead, 10,987 tonnes of zinc and 1.3 million ounces of silver in lead and zinc concentrates during the first nine months of 2014, the company said.
Also this week, Canadian miner Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. reported that a pipeline at its Rosario mine in San Luis Potosi state had ruptured over the weekend, causing water and tailings material to spill outside of the tailings treatment system.
The company said in a press release that it had notified all appropriate authorities, and that its engineers were working with Mexican environmental officials and tailings impoundment consultants “to ensure appropriate remediation procedures are followed and to determine the cause of this incident.”
The mine milling facility has been shut down in the meantime, and will not resume operations “until appropriate remediation steps have been completed in accordance with the recommendations of the company’s technical consultants and appropriate approvals have been received from regulatory authorities,” Santacruz said.