(Corrects figure in last paragraph to 4.16 million ounces of
silver in 2009, instead of 4.16 ounces)
GUATEMALA CITY, June 10 Guatemala's government
said on Thursday it was evaluating a request by the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to close the
country's only major gold mine, citing environmental concerns.
The Commission, which is part of the regional Organization
of American States, requested last month that Canadian company
Goldcorp (G.TO) suspend mining operations at its Marlin mine,
claiming water sources around the site have been contaminated.
Goldcorp said in a statement this week that the
Commission's allegations were "entirely without merit" but
Guatemala's government said it was studying the request to
decide if it will take action, while signaling a shutdown was
"(The government) has not yet responded to the Commission's
request," Giuseppe Calvinisti, a spokesman for the president's
office, told Reuters on Thursday. "The issues are being
evaluated." He gave no date for a resolution to be made.
President Alvaro Colom told reporters last week that he was
waiting on reports from government ministries before making a
decision but suggested the complaints would not stand.
"There is no basis for (closing the mine)," Colom told
Marlin mine produced 274,900 ounces of gold and 4.16
million ounces of silver in 2009. The mine, in the western
highlands of Guatemala, has met with sporadic opposition from
some of the Mayan villages near the project since building
began in 2004.
(Reporting by Herbert Hernandez; Additional reporting by Sean
Mattson in Mexico City; Editing by Gary Hill and Carol