Mexico’s Zacatecas state offers to mediate Newmont Goldcorp mine dispute (Reuters U.S. – May 28, 2019)

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Authorities from Mexico’s Zacatecas state hope to mediate an agreement to end a two-month blockade at the Penasquito gold mine between mining firm Newmont Goldcorp Corp and villagers in San Juan de Cedros.

The dispute at Penasquito, Mexico’s largest gold and silver mine, has led to losses for public coffers and the firm, as well as lost pay for workers and contractors.

“Our priority is that the mine resume its activities,” said Jehu Salas, the secretary general of the northern state of Zacatecas, where open-pit Penasquito is located.

Protesters from nearby San Juan de Cedros in one of Mexico’s most arid regions say Penasquito’s operations caused the local water supply to dry up. Meanwhile, local truck drivers, who say that the mine reneged on promises to give them work, have linked with residents to block access to the mine since March 27.

Following the blockade, the company at the end of April suspended production and then payments and benefits to villages surrounding the site.

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