There was no immediate word on damage, any computer systems held hostage, the identity of the attackers or dollar amounts they sought.
“The company has isolated operations, switched to manual processes where possible, and the mill has been preventatively shutdown to determine the effect on its control system,” Copper Mountain said in the release.
“The company’s external and internal IT teams are continuing to assess risks and are actively establishing additional safeguards to mitigate any further risk,” it said. “Copper Mountain is investigating the source of the attack and is in contact with the relevant authorities.”
Shares in Copper Mountain dropped 5.5% Friday morning in Toronto to C$1.72 each, within a 52-week range of C$1.23 and C$4.38, valuing the company at C$362 million.
Copper Mountain owns three-quarters of the open-pit mine near Princeton about 300 km east of Vancouver. The operation 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 increases 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 this year.