McEwen Mining’s El Gallo 1 gold mine in Sinaloa, Mexico was hit by armed robbers on April 7, with a loss of an estimated 900 kg of gold-bearing concentrate containing approximately 7,000 oz of gold. Due to upgrades in progress in the processing plant, approximately 30 days of concentrate production were in the refinery at the time of the robbery. No one was seriously injured, and there was no damage to the plant. Mining and processing activities were not impacted and continue uninterrupted.

Miners at McEwen Mining’s El Gallo 1 mine gather during a recent Miner's Day event. An armed robbery took place at the mine in early April, resulting in the theft of an estimated 7.000 oz of gold in concentrate. The company reported that no mine employees were seriously injured. (Photo courtesy of McEwen Mining)Miners at McEwen Mining’s El Gallo 1 mine gather during a recent Miner's Day event. An armed robbery took place at the mine in early April, resulting in the theft of an estimated 7.000 oz of gold in concentrate. The company reported that no mine employees were seriously injured. (Photo courtesy of McEwen Mining)

 

McEwen Mining’s El Gallo 1 gold mine in Sinaloa, Mexico was hit by armed robbers on April 7, with a loss of an estimated 900 kg of gold-bearing concentrate containing approximately 7,000 oz of gold. Due to upgrades in progress in the processing plant, approximately 30 days of concentrate production were in the refinery at the time of the robbery. No one was seriously injured, and there was no damage to the plant. Mining and processing activities were not impacted and continue uninterrupted.

Early in the morning of the day of the robbery, the robbers apprehended several mine security personnel on their way to work and then captured other security personnel at the mine site. Plant personnel were forced to open the refinery doors, giving the robbers access to the concentrates.

McEwen Mining is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Company president and CEO Rob McEwen was interviewed on Canada’s Business News Network on April 9. During the interview, he was asked, “Is it a dangerous part of Mexico [at the mine site]?” He answered, “It hasn’t been. I mean the cartels are active down there. Generally, we have a good relationship with them.”

McEwen’s ‘good relationship’ comment related specifically to gaining access to properties the company wished to explore. In a subsequent press release on April 13, he said, “Unfortunately, my use of the words, ‘good relationship,’ was careless and has created the entirely false impression with Mexican media that we have regular contact with criminal elements in their society. This is simply not true. I wish to apologize sincerely for any misunderstanding my words may have caused.

“I wish to acknowledge and thank the Mexican Federal and State governments, law enforcement agencies, and the army for their immediate response to the theft. We will continue to cooperate with them fully.

“Most importantly, I want to thank the many employees at our El Gallo mine. The last week has been a trying time for our company, but particularly for those employees directly impacted. Your professionalism, understanding, and support of the investigation have been nothing short of outstanding.”

McEwen Mining has insurance covering incidents of this type and is working with its insurance carrier to determine the extent of available coverage. The company does not expect the policy to cover the entire loss.

Full-year gold production by the El Gallo1 mine is forecast at about 50,000 oz.

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