* Guatemala says Goldcorp mine still operational
* Goldcorp says no evidence of pollution at mine (Adds company comment paragraphs 4-5)
By Sarah Grainger
GUATEMALA CITY, June 24 (Reuters) - Goldcorp Inc's Marlin mine in Guatemala is still operating and the government will need months to comply with a request to suspend operations there due to environmental concerns, the mining ministry said on Thursday.
The Guatemalan government said on Wednesday it would begin a process to halt activity at the mine after a regional human rights body said water around the mine was contaminated. [ID:nN23259957]
"It is a legal process and that takes time. It takes a long time. I would say months," mining ministry spokesman Rene Rodriguez told Reuters. "The mine is operating right now. You can't just show up there with some soldiers and shut it."
Goldcorp, which runs the mine through local subsidiary Montana Exploradora de Guatemala S.A., said the site would remain fully operational until it received further notice from the Guatemalan government.
"The mine is not yet suspended," Goldcorp Vice President Eduardo Villacorta told a news conference in Guatemala City. "I think its up to the state to give us official notification once it has established how its going to proceed in this case."
The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, part of the Organization of American States, is investigating complaints of contaminated water supplies from local residents who live near the mine in western Guatemala.
The commission requested last month that the government order the company to stop work at the mine until the investigation is complete.
The government said its own studies had not been able to verify the complaints brought by the community groups and Goldcorp G.TO GG.N, a Canadian company, said there was no solid evidence of environmental problems.
"We concur with the statement of the Guatemalan government that there is no evidence of pollution or ill effects to health or the environment as a result of Marlin mine's presence," Goldcorp Chief Executive Chuck Jeannes said in a statement.
"In the absence of such evidence, we continue to believe there is no basis for suspending operations at the mine," he added.
Goldcorp said the government would initiate an administrative process to further investigate the pollution allegations.
A team from the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights will visit the mine in July to conduct more evaluations.
Despite the pending suspension order, Goldcorp seemed to indicate that operations at the mine, which produced 274,900 ounces of gold and 4.157 million ounces of silver in 2009, would continue while the government review was being conducted.
(Additional reporting by Euan Rocha in Toronto; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)