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Friday, Sep 22, 2023
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.


Second attack at Zijin Mining’s Colombia operation prompts plea for government intervention

The gold mine was attacked by a group of illegal miners earlier this month

Second attack on Zijin's Buritica gold mine prompts plea for government intervention
Buritica gold mine, Colombia. Photo via Zijin Mining

Zijin Mining’s (SHA: 601899) gold operation in Colombia has been attacked for the second time in less than a month, prompting it to ask the government to secure the area.

On Monday, a site worker was shot and wounded at the Buriticá gold mine. The following day, a vehicle in one of the mine’s tunnels was incinerated, thereby damaging a nearby mixer truck as well.

Personnel were then evacuated from the site run by Zijin’s majority-owned subsidiary Continental Gold and the companies have issued an urgent plea to the government for intervention. Zijin has not specified who was responsible for this second attack.

“Intervention in the Buriticá mine is urgent,” read a Tuesday bulletin posted on Twitter by Continental Gold. 

“We must reiterate the energetic call to the National Government of Colombia, headed by President Gustavo Petro, to take effective and immediate actions in order to retake territorial control in Buriticá with the presence of the Public Force and other institutions,” it continued. 

Read more: Ecuador launches consultation process for environmental licenses

Read more: Bomb attack at Zijin Mining’s Colombia operation kills two, injures 14

The news follows a bomb attack by a group of illegal miners at Buriticá on May 17 which killed two and injured 14 others. Four Colombian police officers were among those injured by the explosion that killed two security and labour contractors.

In a news release on May 19 Zijin said it was “deeply shocked and outraged by the attack.” The Chinese company temporarily suspended operations at the site following the bombing and has now had to do so again.

The Buriticá mine is a short drive away from Medellín and produces about 240,000 ounces of gold annually. According to Continental Gold, it is the most important underground gold mining operation in the country. 

In 2017, Newmont Corporation (TSX: NGT) (NYSE: NEM) invested US$109 million in the mine, thereby acquiring a 20 per cent stake in Continental Gold.

Zijin’s shares rose by 3.37 per cent Thursday to the equivalent of $2.09 on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.


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