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Red Back Mining Ltd. Tasiast Gold Mine in Mauritania.

Red Back handout

Kinross Gold Corp. has had to halt work at its Tasiast gold mine in Mauritania, bought by Canada's third-largest gold miner under the $7.1-billion acquisition of Red Back Mining Inc. in the summer of 2010.

"Employees at the Tasiast mine have initiated an unlawful work stoppage, and mining and processing activity at the site has been temporarily suspended," Kinross said in a statement.

Kinross said it was in talks with employee representatives aimed at achieving a prompt settlement and a return to normal operations.

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The Tasiast mine, which produced approximately 200,000 gold equivalent ounces in 2011, is Kinross Gold's key development, but it has also been a major headache for the company, which had to write down $2.49-billion on the project amid soaring costs and changing project parameters.

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