Kinross Round Mountain experienced wall movement in the southwest corner of the open pit gold mine in Nye County.
No one was injured, and no structures were damaged in the Oct. 30 slide, a Kinross spokesperson said. Monitoring technology made it possible to predict the event and clear the area before the incident.
The company released a statement Nov. 7 about the slide after a Facebook user posted a photo of the pit on a public page. The spokesperson said the mine is not releasing photos of that area of the pit.
“Using radar monitoring, as well as a combination of geological and aerial data, the company was closely monitoring, and was well aware of the potential pit wall issues in this area,” Kinross stated. “These systems allow the company to detect movement in pit walls and plan for any potential wall movement, ensuring the safety of all employees, which is always the top priority.”
Kinross does not have an estimate about the amount of material moved at this time, but the company announced that it does not expect the situation to significantly impact production or the Phase W expansion project. The expansion includes a layback of the current pit and the decommissioning of infrastructure near the southwest corner in 2019.
“As part of the site’s mining operations, the company will look to move the ore from the pit bottom and continue working in other parts of the pit that are unaffected,” Kinross stated.
The mine experienced additional ground movement in the southwest corner of the pit Nov. 23. As a result of the second slide, a previously decommissioned crusher building collapsed into the existing failure area, the mine reported. The new movement is not expected to impact production or the Phase W project.
Kinross Gold is a Toronto-based senior mining company founded in 1993 with projects in the United States — including Round Mountain and Bald Mountain in White Pine County — Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Mauritania and Russia. The company’s Round Mountain mine recently celebrated pouring its 15th million ounce of gold at the site since 1985.
A Newmont Mining Corp. open pit mine in the Carlin operations also experienced a slide in October. The incident at Gold Quarry occurred Oct. 5, no one was injured, and the company is evaluating options to resume production in the open pit and related underground mine.