COVID-19

Boliden shuts down Tara production

Swedish miner Boliden has suspended production for 14 days at the Tara zinc mine in Ireland in response to country-wide restrictions put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19

Staff reporter
Mining began at the Tara mine in Ireland in 1977. Boliden acquired it in 2004

Mining began at the Tara mine in Ireland in 1977. Boliden acquired it in 2004

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The company said it was evaluating how to ensure supply of concentrate to its zinc smelters following the loss of volumes from Tara, Europe's largest zinc mine.

Canadian bank BMO forecast Tara would produce about 135,000 tonnes of zinc in concentrate in 2020, representing 45% of Boliden's total zinc production this year.

BMO said the 14-day shutdown would have "relatively limited impact on overall production", but noted there was a risk it could be extended "given the evolving nature of restrictions related to the COVID-19 virus".

Tara represents about 2% of BMO's gross NPV estimate for Boliden.

Ireland had recorded 46 COVID-19 related deaths as of Sunday. Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar introduced a set of lockdown measures on Saturday, telling residents to stay home until at least April 12.

UPDATE: "As of April 2, production at the Tara mine has been resumed. Prior to resuming production, dialogues have been held with authorities as well as union representatives regarding actions taken to assure a safe working place with regards to spread of the coronavirus. The actions now taken are considered sufficient to safeguard the health of employees and contractors at the Tara mine," Boliden said.

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