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Endeavour Silver suspends operations at exhausted El Cubo Mine

Kitco News

Endeavour Silver said it is placing El Cubo Mine on short-term care and maintenance stating that the mine is exhausted.

Mine employees will be laid off. Long-term plans for the mine, which include final closure, are being considered.

"Mining operations will cease on November 30, 2019 and milling operations will continue for approximately one week until the ore stockpile has been processed and the mill cleaned of concentrates," said the company in a news release. "Suspension costs are estimated to be approximately $3.5-4.0 million, primarily in Q4, 2019 including final severance payments for all employees."

Bradford Cooke, Endeavour CEO, looked ahead.

"El Cubo was a good mine for us but our exploration programs in recent years failed to replace reserves and find new resources," said Cooke. "We reduced the plant throughput this year in order to explore for new reserves but without success. As forecasted, grades and throughput have been declining all year, which resulted in declining economics of the mine in recent months.

"We have started preparations to transition the mine from operations to care and maintenance while we evaluate final closure and will work closely with our employees and the local community to mitigate the impact of the suspension. We would like to thank our employees, contractors and business partners who helped to make El Cubo a core asset in recent years."

For the nine months ended September 30, 2019, the company produced 3.079 million ounces of silver and 29,329 ounces of gold.

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