Associated Press – MEXICO CITY — A sophisticated criminal gang in Mexico stole an estimated $2 million to $3 million in metal concentrates through a subtle scheme that went on for months, a Canadian mining company said Tuesday.
Telson Mining Corp. President Ralph Shearing said compromised truck drivers worked with thieves who foiled security measures while the material was being transported from the company’s Campo Morado mine in the southern state of Guerrero to the port of Manzanillo on the Pacific coast.
Shearing said additional safety measures have resolved the problem. He said the theft appears to have occurred over a period of four to five months while the Vancouver-based company investigated why the quality of its product was measured at a lower level on arrival than it was when it left the mine.
“I was under the impression that concentrates are rarely stolen, because what do you do with them?” Shearing said. “They have to sell them to a commodity broker or a smelter.”
Mining thefts are not unheard of in Mexico. In 2015, heavily armed men stole gold concentrate worth an estimated $8.5 million from a mine in the northern state of Sinaloa. And Codelco, Chile’s state-owned copper mining company, uncovered a scheme similar to Telson’s, but much larger in scale, that appeared to have stolen tons of concentrate over years.
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