Toronto-headquartered Sierra Metals is facing a delay at its Yauricocha tailings expansion project, following the rejection of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) study for the deposition facility.
An approved EIA is required for a construction permit for the next three phases of the tailings dam extension, which will allow for a 20% expansion of Yauricocha’s mine output to 3 600 t/d.
The company, however, maintains that it has submitted all the required documentation and that it is optimistic that the decision will be reviewed.
"While we are disappointed, we do not believe this decision was made with all the facts. This decision was preliminary and not based upon or including all the information submitted. Key members of the management team are going to meet with authorities to provide and demonstrate full compliance with the requirements. Management believes that once all the correct information is reviewed, we will receive a positive response from authorities," CEO Igor Gonzales said.
Sierra Metals said that the EIA delay could result in a 7% temporary shortfall in its daily ore production, compared with projects that did not include an EIA permit delay.
Gonzales noted that the expansion plans in Mexico to 3 600 t/d at Bolivar and to 1 200 t/d at Cusi were still on track and would be completed in the first quarter of 2019.