UPDATE 2-Goldcorp suspends operations at Los Filos mine in Mexico

Wed Apr 2, 2014 1:16pm EDT
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(Adds details from source on shutdown, dateline)

MEXICO CITY, April 2 (Reuters) - Goldcorp Inc said on Wednesday it suspended operations at its Los Filos mine in Mexico because of a dispute with an organization of local landowners known as an ejido.

Vancouver-based Goldcorp said it has not been able to negotiate the renewal of an occupancy agreement that expired March 31, but discussions with representatives of the Carrizalillo Ejido group are ongoing.

The dispute arose as Goldcorp came to renegotiate its five-year surface rights agreement with the ejido, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, a typically fraught process that in the past has led to blockades by the ejido.

Contracts with the ejido were originally renewed on an annual basis, the source said, and efforts to create longer-term contracts led to a three-month blockade in 2007.

During the previous negotiation in 2009, when the ejido also blocked the mine, operations ceased for two weeks, the source said, adding he did not expect the current dispute to turn violent.

The mine was shut on Tuesday night, the source said.

The news is a "slight negative" for Goldcorp's shares, RBC Capital Markets analyst Stephen Walker said in a note to clients, noting that output from Los Filos this year is expected to contribute about 10 percent of the company's total estimated production of 3.4 million ounces of gold.

Goldcorp, which is the world's second biggest gold miner by market value, said certain activities related to environmental safeguards and site security will continue during the suspension.   Continued...