Goldcorp shuts Mexico gold mine after week-long blockade

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Canada's Goldcorp Inc G.TO said on Monday it was temporarily shutting down operations at its Peñasquito gold mine in Mexico, following a week-long blockade by a trucking contractor to protest the miner's plans to diversify its local transportation supply chain.

Its shares fell more than 3 percent. The Peñasquito mine in northern Mexico produced 860,300 ounces of gold in 2015, a quarter of Goldcorp’s total output.

The world’s third-biggest gold producer by market value said it did not expect the shutdown at its biggest mine to impact overall production or cost estimates for 2016.

A contingency plan was in place that would allow mining and processing to be restarted immediately once the issue was resolved, Vancouver-based Goldcorp said.

The temporary shutdown was a “slight negative” for Goldcorp’s shares, RBC Capital Market analyst Stephen Walker said in a note to clients.

Last Thursday, Goldcorp said it expected to resolve the blockade, which started on Sept. 26, quickly. [nL2N1C51B6]

The miner said the blockade was illegal and caused by a trucking contractor concerned about losing business due to efficiency improvements at the mine.

Goldcorp said it had taken legal steps, including filing criminal charges against the protesters but that it also was ready to talk with the contractor’s representatives.

One of the protest leaders, Felipe Pinedo said last week that landowners were also part of the blockade and that protesters’ demands include payment for environmental damages, jobs, and water for their communities.

A Goldcorp spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Goldcorp's shares were down 3.4 percent at C$20.92 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, down more than the 2 percent fall in the S&P/TSX Global Gold index .SPPTTGD.

Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver and Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian and Marguerita Choy