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Türkiye revokes SSR Mining’s license after massive landslide

Türkiye has revoked the environmental permit for a gold mine managed by SSR Mining in eastern Türkiye, where a massive landslide last week left nine workers missing, the company said late Sunday.

The operations at the Denver-based company’s Çöpler mine will remain suspended until further notice, it said in a statement.

A huge landslide engulfed the mine in the town of Iliç in Türkiye’s mountainous Erzincan province Tuesday, trapping the workers under tons of rubble and becoming a potential environmental disaster.

The landslide involved a mound of soil extracted from the mine, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya previously said.

The disaster sparked a more than 50% drop in SSR Mining’s Toronto-listed shares.

Search and rescue operations to locate the nine missing workers at the mine are continuing, the company said.

The mine produced 56,768 ounces of gold in the third quarter of last year and is SSR’s second-largest producing gold mine, operating since 2010.

The mine is run by private company Anagold, 80% of which is owned by SSR Mining and 20% by Lidya Mining.

Authorities on Sunday detained Cengiz Demirci, Türkiye director and senior vice president of operations at SSR Mining.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar said earlier Saturday that six managers at the mine had been arrested Friday evening and two others released with conditions.

According to Turkish press reports, a Canadian citizen working for Anagold was among the detained.

Efforts to find the missing miners have been slowed by the risk of fresh landslides.

“Clearing the mass of earth that covers the riverbed is our priority, and we want to avoid the risk of contaminating the water,” Bayraktar told a press conference near the site of the accident.

The Urbanization, Environment and Climate Change Ministry has said a stream leading to the nearby Euphrates River, which stretches across Türkiye, Syria and Iraq, was closed to prevent water pollution.

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