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Turkey Plans Fine for SSR’s Local Unit Over Mine Spill *Centurion Insurance AFS*

Feb 20, 2024 (0) comment , , , , , , , , ,

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Turkey plans to fine a unit of SSR Mining Inc. after a landslide at its Copler gold mine and have the company cover the cost of removing millions of tons of waste, three government officials said.

Anagold Madencilik, 80%-owned by Denver-based SSR, will also have to pay for diverting water in the Sabirli Creek away from the mine before it drains into the Euphrates River, two of the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media.

Anagold will be fined by the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change, the officials said, without disclosing a figure. After a cyanide spill at the same site in June 2022, the company was fined 16.4 million liras, at the time equal to about $1 million.

Government studies indicate that about 10 million cubic meters of mined material shifted during the landslide on Feb. 13, the officials said. That represented about a quarter of all the processed material stored at the site, they said. As much as another 4 million cubic meters is deemed at risk of further landslides, the officials said.

The mine’s environmental permits were revoked following a public outcry over the incident. Nine missing workers have yet to be found.

“We are focused entirely on search and rescue efforts and locating our colleagues who are unaccounted for,” SSR said in response to emailed questions. It didn’t comment on the possibility of a fine. Turkey’s energy ministry, which oversees mines, declined to comment, as did the environment ministry.

Six company employees were arrested following the incident and are still being detained, including a Canadian whose name wasn’t disclosed. The Turkey director of SSR was briefly detained.

Shares of SSR Mining fell 54% to $4.50 in US trading on the day of the incident and have rebounded to $4.91 since then.

Photograph: The Anagold mine in Erzincan, Turkey, on Jan. 18, 2024. Photo credit: dia images/Getty Images

Copyright 2024 Bloomberg.

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