VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Base metals producer Taseko Mines has scaled back mining and milling operations at its cornerstone Gibraltar mine, in response to the severe wildfire conditions in the Cariboo region of British Columbia.
The Vancouver-based company reported that despite there not being any fires in the immediate vicinity of Gibraltar and receiving supplies not being an issue at this time, the severity of the situation has impacted its employees’ ability to travel to the mine.
“Currently, the wildfire situation remains extremely critical with many evacuation alerts and orders in effect for Williams Lake and neighbouring communities. Our first priority is the safety and wellbeing of our employees and their families and we are adjusting schedules for employees who are unavailable to work because of fire threat to their homes and property,” president and CEO Russell Hallbauer stated on Wednesday.
“We will balance Gibraltar operations with employee requirements as this dynamic situation develops.”
British Columbia had on Friday declared its first state of emergency since 2003. The fires have disrupted timber and mining operations, damaged a regional electric utility and forced more than 14 000 people from their homes in the interior of the province. More than 200 wildfires cover a region ranging from 150 km to 350 km northeast of Vancouver.
EnGold Mines has suspended all exploration in the region and Imperial Metals said it had significantly reduced operations at its Mount Polley mine.