SX-listed base metals Sierra Metals is seeking consent to reopen its Yauricocha mine, given its remote location and implementation of strict health protocols.
Peru has extended its state of emergency and a nationwide lockdown to fight the Covid-19 pandemic until June 30, but President Martin Vizcarra has said the latest extension will come with the reopening of certain economic activities.ADVERTISEMENT
Large openpit mines and a select number of underground mines in the country have already received permission to restart operations in phase one and phase two will see the second group of mining companies restart mining activities.
Meanwhile, in Mexico where mining will be deemed an essential service from June 1, Sierra Metals is recalling employees from the Bolivar mine to begin a Covid-19 screening process, including a quarantine period.ADVERTISEMENT
The Cusi mine will remain in care and maintenance.
“The company is doing everything it can to protect its employees and take care of their families while protecting our active workforces to prevent any labour disruptions at the mines,” it states.
All employees reporting for duty complete a testing and screening process, which includes a quarantine period before they are allowed to join the active workforce at both the Yauricocha and Bolivar mines. Daily monitoring also continues for all employees working at the mines.
Outgoing CEO Igor Gonzales said earlier this month that Sierra had the flexibility at Yauricocha to run the operations at higher throughput levels, which would help it to recover some of the lost production and that it also had some flexibility also at Bolivar.
Further, the company was optimistic that it would still receive the required permits to increase output at Yauricocha to the 3 600 t/d level this year, even though permitting in Peru was placed on hold by the government during the state of emergency.
Sierra aims to ramp up Bolivar to the 5 000 t/d level by year-end and start a preliminary economic assessment to determine further production increases past the 5 000 t/d level based on the recently reported significant mineral resource increase at Bolivar.