SSR Mining Faces Growing Calls For Management To Resign

In the wake of a devastating collapse at its Copler mine in Turkey, SSR Mining (TSX: SSRM) finds itself under intense scrutiny, with calls for management resignation intensifying amidst concerns over safety practices and operational integrity.

The incident, described by observers as “pathetic” and “catastrophic,” has not only raised alarms about the immediate safety of miners but has also sparked broader questions about the company’s governance and risk management protocols.

The collapse, described as a “large slip” at the heap leach pad, has forced SSR Mining to suspend operations at the Copler mine, with reports indicating that nine miners are currently unaccounted for.

This latest disaster comes on the heels of a previous cyanide leak at the same mine in 2022, which resulted in a substantial fine for the company and heightened regulatory scrutiny. The recurrence of such incidents underscores persistent concerns regarding safety standards and regulatory compliance within SSR Mining’s operations.

Criticism has been particularly pointed towards SSR Mining’s management, with one observer remarking, “Shut down the Q&A on the first question after the disaster was mentioned.” The company’s handling of the situation during its update call has been heavily scrutinized, with accusations that management prioritized discussing growth projections and safety records over addressing the immediate crisis unfolding at the mine site.

Moreover, revelations have emerged suggesting that warnings about potential hazards at the Copler mine were previously raised by whistleblowers and industry experts. Concerns over dangerous practices and poor project planning have been underscored by legal actions taken against SSR Mining, including a lawsuit filed by a Turkish Mine Engineers body in December 2023.

RBC Capital Markets’s assessment of Sandstorm Gold (TSX: SSL) got dragged in the development as the firm’s take paints a dire picture for SSR Mining, with shares plummeting by over 50% in response to the Copler mine collapse. The implications extend beyond immediate financial losses, with potential ramifications for the company’s ability to secure funding for its projects, particularly the Hod Maden underground development project in Turkey.

Additionally, SSR Mining’s social license and broader mining sentiment in Turkey may suffer, impacting future project developments and operational viability in the region.

SSR Mining this morning meanwhile confirmed that nine miners remain missing following the collapse of the leach pad, while referring to the failure as a “significant slip.” Over four hundred personnel from the national disaster relief agency in Turkey meanwhile are on site attempting to locate the missing miners. Local reports meanwhile suggest that the actual number of personnel on site, including police and military teams, is closer to 1,700.

Five of the missing miners are believed to have been in a container hut, while three were in a vehicle and one was in a truck as per Turkey’s Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya.

Aljazeera meanwhile has reported that four individuals have been arrested in connection with the mine failure, including the pit’s field manager.

SSR Mining last traded at $6.08 on the TSX.

Information for this briefing was found via the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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