Rio Alto: Blockade near La Arena mine in Peru may affect 2013 gold production

VANCOUVER – Rio Alto Mining Ltd. (TSX:RIO) says it has temporarily stopped mining activity at its La Arena gold oxide mine in Peru, as protesters have set up a blockade on a road the company uses to transport people and supplies.

The Vancouver-based company said the situation could have a negative impact on its 2013 gold production, and it plans to provide updated targets once mining activity resumes.

The group, led by led by the Central Unica de Rondas Campesinas, set up blockades of public access roads starting last Wednesday to protest against the Peruvian judicial system, the local district attorney and the Peruvian police force.

The La Arena mine had been able to operate normally on backup supplies until Monday, when fuel stocks began to run low.

Rio Alto has had to stop mining and civil construction activities, but it has enough fuel to run the mine’s gold processing facilities for another 14 days.