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Copper Mountain reopens mine after ransomware attack

Copper Mountain Mining (TSX: CMMC) said it reopened its mine in southern British Columbia this week following a December 27 ransomware attack that left deliveries unaffected.

The Vancouver-based company restarted the primary crusher at its mine near Princeton about 300 km east of Vancouver on Jan. 1 and resumed operations at the mill “shortly thereafter,” Copper Mountain said in a news release on Friday.

“On Jan. 4, the mill was at full production and the operation is currently being stabilized as the remaining business systems are fully restored,” the company said.

“Throughout this downtime, which resulted from the attack on its IT systems, the company has been shipping copper concentrate to the port of Vancouver from mine inventory and has maintained its planned shipping schedule.”

The shutdown was a preventative measure as Copper Mountain assessed the extent of the attack on its systems at the mine and its corporate offices, the company said.

Copper Mountain Mining’s update on Friday didn’t mention any damage, the identity of the attackers, dollar amounts they may have sought or any amounts paid to the hackers. A spokesperson for the company didn’t immediately reply to emailed questions.

All the mine’s environmental management systems operated during the outage and there were no incidents or injuries to personnel, the company said. Its information technology teams and cybersecurity consultants are establishing safeguards against further risks, it said.

The company said at the time of the attack it isolated operations, switched to manual processes where possible and contacted authorities.

Copper Mountain owns three-quarters of the open-pit mine, which produces an average of about 100 million lbs. of copper equivalent a year. Japan’s Mitsubishi Materials owns the remaining quarter.

There are plans to expand the mill to 65,000 tonnes per day from 45,000 tonnes and increase average annual production to 138 million lbs. of copper equivalent.

The mine has proven and probable reserves of 650 million tonnes grading 0.25% copper, 0.11 gram gold per tonne, 0.73 gram silver for 3.6 million lbs. contained copper, 2.2 million oz. gold and 15.2 million oz. silver, according to a company filing.

Shares in Copper Mountain gained 2.9% Friday morning in Toronto, valuing the company at C$379 million ($282m).

Source: MINING.COM – Read More