Goldcorp says protesters end blockade at Penasquito mine in Mexico

Sat Oct 8, 2016 2:09am EDT
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MEXICO CITY Oct 8 (Reuters) - Canadian miner Goldcorp reached an agreement with protesters to lift a blockade that interrupted operations at its Penasquito gold mine in the northern Mexican state of Zacatecas, the company said late Friday.

In a statement, Goldcorp said it hopes activity will resume at the mine at the weekend, five days after it announced the temporary suspension of operations due to a blockade by truck drivers protesting a loss of contracts at the country's biggest gold deposit.

The company promised to renew contracts with carriers, expand and establish two health centers, improve infrastructure in the nearby city, and study the water and air to assess whether it should compensate communities for alleged contamination, said Julio Cesar Chavez, a state government mediator in the conflict.

The protests began early last week and were supported by landowners in the area.

In late August, Reuters reported on a long-running leak of contaminated water which had not been disclosed to the public.

Goldcorp said it has about 750 people at the mine and expects to produce between 520,000 and 580,000 ounces of gold this year, equivalent to about 19 percent of its total planned production of 2.8 to 3.1 million ounces. (Reporting by Anahi Rama; Writing by Natalie Schachar; editing by John Stonestreet)