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Goldcorp says protest could halt production at Mexico gold mine

Kitco News

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Canada’s Goldcorp said on Monday an ongoing protest blocking entry to its Penasquito mine, one of Mexico’s biggest gold producers, could force the company to halt output.

The mine, in northern Zacatecas state, produced 476,000 ounces of gold last year, comprising 18 percent of Goldcorp’s total production and generating more than 33 percent of its revenue.

The demonstration began on June 1, led by local truck-drivers who say the company reneged on promises to hire locally.

Local residents also blocked access at the mine last year, protesting for more than a week over a water dispute. The company later said it was able to resume normal operations without a hit to production.

Michael Harvey, Goldcorp’s director of corporate affairs, said the current blockade was illegal and had prevented the flow of workers and supplies.

“We are still working, but if we can’t let supplies in, at some point we will stop producing,” he said.

Ascension Carrillo, one of the protest leaders, said the goal was to get Goldcorp to fulfill its hiring promises.

“The only thing we want is the work that was promised to us ... we’re fighting to feed our families,” Carrillo said.

Reporting by Noe Torres, Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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