MEXICO CITY/TORONTO (Reuters) - Protesters blocking access to Goldcorp Inc’s Penasquito gold mine in northern Mexico said on Friday they will not leave until there is an agreement with the company on its demands for jobs and compensation for water use and environmental damage.
Vancouver-based Goldcorp was not immediately available for comment. It said on Thursday that the illegal blockade was not affecting operations and it expected to quickly resolve the issue.
“We are not going anywhere,” said Felipe Pinedo, one of the protest leaders, in a telephone interview. “The blockade is indefinite. It depends on reaching an agreement.”
Protesters, including truck drivers and land owners, have been on the site since Monday, Pinedo said. Goldcorp has said a trucking contractor, concerned about losing business due to efficiency gains at the mine, was blockading the mine.
Protesters met yesterday with a legal representative of Goldcorp, Pinedo said, but now want to meet with senior staff from the company.
Last year, Penasquito produced 860,300 ounces of gold, one-quarter of Goldcorp’s total output.
A source close to the company, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, has told Reuters that the blockade risked interrupting production at the mine, which was operating below capacity.
In late August, Reuters reported on a long-running leak of contaminated water, which had not been disclosed to the public, at the mine, Mexico’s biggest gold deposit.
Reporting by Noe Torres and Susan Taylor; Editing by Alistair Bell