New data points to the escalation and evolving nature of cyber threats to mining and metals operations and other resource industries.
In the wake of at least two high-profile incidents involving the mining industry in recent months, experts agree that understanding the cyber risk landscape and the threats new technologies bring is critical for planning reliable and resilient operations.
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In a recent development that sent shockwaves through the mining industry, Copper Mountain Mining (TSX: CMMC; ASX: C6C) in December put its Canadian treatment plant on a “preventative” shutdown for six days after being hit by a ransomware attack.
During the downtime the company continued delivering copper concentrate to the Port of Vancouver from mine inventory and has maintained its planned shipping schedule.
The company said it quickly implemented its risk management protocols.
On Jan. 1, the company resumed operations of the primary crusher at its eponymous mine. Shortly after that, it resumed operations at the mill, which was preventatively shut down following the attack. On Jan. 4, the mill was at full production, and the operation is currently being stabilized as the remaining business systems are fully restored.
Throughout the outage, all environmental management systems at the mine were operational, and there were no environmental incidents or injuries to personnel. Copper mountain’s IT teams, along with external cybersecurity experts, are continuing to establish additional safeguards to mitigate further risks to the company.
But cyber-attacks targeting miners seem to be on the rise.