MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Protesters in northern Mexico blocked access for a fourth day on Monday to a gold mine operated by Canada’s Goldcorp over a water dispute, a development that could hit the facility’s production of the precious metal.
The entrances to the Peñasquito mine have been occupied since Thursday by protesters who demand the company make good on a commitment to supply nearby communities with water, said Felipe Pinedo, a leader of the protesters.
In a statement, the company accepted there were “outstanding commitments between the two parties,” and said the protest broke off established negotiations.
Pinedo said the protesters were only allowing workers to leave the mine, which is located in northern Zacatecas state and last year produced 465,000 ounces of gold.
Michael Harvey, Goldcorp’s director of corporate affairs, said in a statement the company is open to dialogue with the local communities, but it would not negotiate under the threat of a continued blockade, which it deems illegal.
The company did not detail any potential impact on production at the mine from an extended blockade.
Last year, truck drivers and local residents blocked for more than a week the entrances to the mine as they demanded jobs and compensation for environmental damages as well as water used by the company.
Reporting by Noe Torres; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Sandra Maler