04/09/2013 08:11 EDT | Updated 06/09/2013 05:12 EDT

Operations suspended by Rio Alto following worker's death at Peruvian mine

VANCOUVER - Junior miner Rio Alto Mining Ltd. (TSX:RIO) says operations at its La Arena gold mine near Lima, Peru have been temporarily suspended following an employee's death.

The worker, who was a civil contractor, died Tuesday while excavating a trench at the mine.

An investigation has been launched by local authorities.

"Our sincere condolences go out to the family of the contractor and the community during this difficult time," said Alex Black, president and CEO at Rio Alto.

In September 2011, operations at the mine were stopped following a workers' strike.

The La Arena gold and copper project is Rio Alto's primary operation but the company holds several other exploration properties in Latin America.