No impact to date on Infrastructure or Operations
VANCOUVER, June 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Capstone Mining Corp. (CS: TSX) today announced that a wildfire is burning in the area of its Minto Mine, which has the potential to affect operations at the mine if it continues to spread. However, at the present time, operations are continuing as normal.
The wildfire appears to have been started on Sunday May 30th by high winds blowing a dead tree into contact with the spur line supplying power to the Minto Mine, sparking a ground fire that is primarily burning windfall from prior burns in the area in the 1980s and 1990s and is spreading very quickly as a result of hot, dry conditions and strong winds. The fire reached over 300 hectares within 24 hours, tripled in size on Monday to over 1,000 hectares and doubled again to over 2,000 hectares on Tuesday and is now within 9.1km of the mine site.
"This wildfire is very intense, aggressive and fast moving and is therefore a matter of serious concern to Capstone," said Stephen Quin, President of Capstone Mining. "Our personnel at the Minto Mine have developed an emergency plan with a series of triggers that could result in a staged curtailment or complete shut-down of operations and evacuation of personnel based on proximity to the mine infrastructure," he said. "Our personnel are working closely with Yukon's Wildlands Fire Management personnel to ensure the protection of personnel, facilities and infrastructure, as well as the natural environment. As of this stage, there has been no damage, but an aggressive fire of this nature requires extreme caution."
Yukon Wildlands Fire Management has crews working to protect critical infrastructure and contain the fire, where possible, and Capstone has released contract mining equipment from its contractor, Pelly Construction, to assist with fire containment. The Minto Mine has significant water stored on site from the recent spring run-off, as well as considerable resources in pumps, water lines, equipment and personnel to ensure the protection of infrastructure and facilities. As a result of site clearing during construction of the mine, all site infrastructure has a reasonable break between it and the vegetation, but additional fire break preparation, setting up sprinklers to wet down vulnerable infrastructure, establishing water distribution systems and other fire prevention recommendations from Yukon Wildlands Fire Management are being implemented.
Given the risk to the power line, grid power has been turned off and the Minto Mine is running on diesel generators located at the mine site.
Capstone owns and operates two high grade copper mines and has an advanced high grade copper-zinc development project, all located in favourable mining jurisdictions in North America. The Cozamin Mine is a high grade, relatively shallow, mechanized underground copper mine in Zacatecas, Mexico, with significant by-product credits of zinc, lead and silver. The Minto Mine is a high grade open pit copper-gold mine, and is located in the Yukon, Canada. In addition, Capstone owns the high grade Kutcho Copper Project in British Columbia, Canada, which is being advanced towards a production decision, and could produce significant by-products of zinc, silver and gold. Capstone aims to grow both organically through its existing projects, and through mergers and acquisitions. Capstone's growth ambitions are backed up by a successful track record of growth through both avenues, and supported by a strong balance sheet and significant equity investments.
The TSX does not accept any responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.
SOURCE Capstone Mining Corp.