Canadian miner Kinross Gold said on Wednesday that workers at its Tasiast gold mine in Mauritania in West Africa have initiated an unlawful work stoppage, halting mining and processing activity at the operation.

Kinross, Canada's No. 3 gold miner by output, said management is in discussions with workers to resolve certain issues and restart operations.

Kinross acquired Tasiast in 2010 when it bought Red Back Mining for $7.1 billion. The mine holds proven and probable reserve of about 7.5 million ounces and has another 13 million ounces of resources.

It produced 200,000 gold equivalent ounces in 2011, but output is expected to ramp up over the next few years.

The company's shares were up 2.3 percent at C$9.24 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning.