TORONTO -- (CP) Inmet Mining Corp. [TSX:IMN] has disclosed ''an unexpected ground movement'' at the newly constructed storage site for dried residue from the process plant at its Las Cruces copper project in Spain.
Inmet said Thursday that the facility had not been commissioned and contained no residue. The ground instability caused no injuries or environmental impact.
''The extent of any delay in the project schedule that may result from the event cannot be conclusively determined until the investigation is fully completed and the cause of the event is identified,'' the Toronto-headquartered international mining company stated.
''We expect the investigation may take several weeks or more to complete.''
Las Cruces, 20 kilometres northwest of Seville in the Andalusia region of southern Spain, is 70 per cent owned by Inmet and is described as one of the highest-grade unexploited copper deposits in the world.
The development of the mine, estimated to contain 1.1 million tonnes of copper, hit another snag in May when Spanish authorities suspended authorization for the Las Cruces dewatering and groundwater reinjection system.
Inmet said at the time that as a result, Las Cruces would not be able to start direct ore shipping in June as previously forecast.
The dewatering and re-injection system is a system of wells around and within the Las Cruces open pit that removes water from the surrounding aquifer and re-injects it into adjacent wells to prevent water from flowing into the pit.
Las Cruces has also faced delays in the start-up due to labour costrains.
Inmet mines copper, zinc and gold around the world.
Shares in Inmet closed at $64.14 on the TSX, up 99 cents.