Armed robbers stormed a Canadian-run gold mine in Brazil on Wednesday and took away 50 kg of the yellow metal.
The Vancouver-based Luna Gold Corporation said that after taking its staff hostage, the robbers set off explosives to crack a storage safe to loot the precious metal. The value of the metal has been put at $2.1 million by the company.
Luna Gold said the heist occurred at its remote Aurizona project on the northeastern coast of Brazil.
Over 450 people are working on the project which is so remote that the nearest city is five hours' drive from it, according to reports.
A company statement said, "A group of armed robbers gained access to the site and escaped with approximately 1,500 ounces of gold. No employees were injured during the robbery.
"Luna Gold has purchased insurance to cover this type of loss with an internationally recognized insurance company and is in the process of filing a claim.''
The gold mine is protected by about 50 security personnel before it starts commercial operations next year.
"The safety and welfare of our employees is our highest priority and we will ensure that those involved receive appropriate support and counseling. Theft in this manner is disturbing and regrettable,'' said Luna Gold president and CEO John Blake.
This is the second gold heist in Brazil this year. In February, robbers stole 65 kilogrammes of gold from a mine run by Australia's Troy Resources. They had adopted a similar modus operandi, first taking people hostage and then decamping with the gold booty.