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McEwen Mining withdraws output guidance after temporary mine suspension

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(Kitco News) - McEwen Mining Inc. (NYSE, TSX: MUX) is withdrawing its previously announced production guidance after curtailment of operations at a joint-venture mine in Argentina to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus around the world, the company said Friday.

The Argentine government has declared a state of emergency and imposed a nationwide mandatory quarantine starting Friday.

As a result, the San José mine that is 49% owned by McEwen Mining temporarily halted operations Friday through at least March 31. Minera Santa Cruz S.A. is the owner of the San José Mine, and McEwen’s joint-venture partner is a subsidiary of Hochschild Mining Plc.

“The mine site will continue to be staffed by a reduced workforce to ensure appropriate safety, security, and environmental systems are maintained,” McEwen said.

McEwen Mining also reported that work at the Los Azules copper project in Argentina was suspended. Meanwhile, the company is implementing several safety measures at its Black Fox operation in Ontario after the confirmed presence of COVID-19 in the Timmins region. The company said it is undertaking screening measures, having some staff work from home, asking employees who must travel by plane for four or more hours not to return the site, and more.

“As a consequence of the suspension of mining at San José and uncertainty related to the potential impact of COVID-19 on our other operations, we are withdrawing all previously announced production and costs guidance for 2020,” McEwen said.

However, McEwen’s mines in Ontario, Nevada and Mexico are currently continuing to operate.

“The measures being taken to combat COVID-19 by the company and local authorities in each of the jurisdictions where we operate are changing rapidly,” the company said, adding that it will follow guidelines of local public-health officials.

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