Robex Resources (TSXV: RBX) was set to restart operations at its Nampala gold mine in Mali after a trespasser was killed on Thursday and work was halted temporarily, the company said.
A crowd of artisanal miners intruded onto the open-pit site in the West African country’s south and encountered security, the company said in a news release. One other person was injured in the incident, Robex said.
“Management believes that production will resume safely in the next few hours,” Robex said in a second news release. “Secondary buildings not essential to production were damaged, but it should not affect the restart of operations.”
Nampala has produced 35,398 oz. gold through nine months this year with an all-in sustaining cost of $1,327 per oz. and a target of more than 50,000 oz. this year, according to the company’s third-quarter results.
Earlier, Robex expressed condolences to the family of the dead artisanal miner and said precautions have been taken to protect workers and locals from further violence.
Artisanal miners, usually locals living in extreme poverty, are common at mining sites throughout the developing world. Many operations suffer a constant tussle between security forces and illegal miners that can result in allegations of human rights abuses and even fatalities. Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) for instance, was taken to Ontario court last month for alleged human rights abuses in Tanzania.
Aside from the Nampala mine that started production in 2017, Robex holds five exploration permits in Mali and the Kiniéro project in neighbouring Guinea.
Shares in Quebec City-based Robex gained a quarter of a cent on Friday in Toronto to 30.5¢, within a 52-week range of 20¢ and 42¢, valuing the company at $257 million.