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Orvana stock tanks on El Valle rockfall

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The Toronto-quoted equity of Orvana Minerals (TSX: ORV) lost nearly 16% in Monday trading following a rockfall at the legacy open-pit wall at El Valle, in Spain.

The incident impacted the east sector of the tailings impoundment, without structural damages or injuries reported.

Orvana said the underground facilities were unaffected by the legacy open-pit wall failure.

CEO Juan Gavidia said in a media release plant operations should restart in the following days.

“Underground mining operations continue stockpiling ore until processing resumes,” he said.

Gavidia added the legacy open-pit wall sector, where the failure occurred, had been under review in the past, which caused the relocation of a district road running at the top of the wall in question.

With the district wall relocated, the company was designing a definitive geotechnical wall treatment for the long term.

Orvana said the underground facilities were unaffected by the legacy open-pit wall failure, with mining and stockpiling activities ongoing. While the plant is not physically connected to legacy workings, the tailings pumping circuits are, prompting a halt to processing activities.

The impacted tailings storage facility is also under investigation.

Orvana acquired the El Valle and Carlés mines in September 2009, located in the Rio Narcea Gold Belt in northern Spain, close to the port city of Gijón.

June-quarter output was 13,879 oz. gold, 29% higher than the previous quarter due to 12% higher throughput and 13% higher grade. Copper output was 1.6 million pounds, 22% higher than last quarter.

Commercial production commenced in August 2011.

Before the incident, Orvana guided for total gold output of 50,000 to 55,000 oz gold for 2021.

Shares in Orvana fell to C$0.38 at press time on Monday, down 13.64% per share, giving the company a market capitalization of C$52 million. As of Friday, the last trading day before the incident occurred, the stock was up about 57% over the past 12 months compared with 36% on Monday.

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