Blockade lifted at Newmont Goldcorp Mexico mine; 11,000 oz gold output hit

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Newmont Goldcorp said on Wednesday a blockade that began on Sep. 14 at its Penasquito gold mine in Mexico in northern Zacatecas state has been lifted, though operations remained temporarily suspended.

The blockade hit Penasquito’s third-quarter production by some 11,000 gold ounces, 1.7 million silver ounces, 13.7 million pounds of lead and 22.8 million pounds of zinc, the world’s biggest gold producer said in a statement.

“The company continues to work closely with the federal and state governments toward a sustainable, long-term solution, and lifting of the blockade paves the way for the government-sponsored dialogue to resume,” Newmont Goldcorp said.

The mine, one of Newmont Goldcorp’s largest, has suffered on and off blockades in recent years, most recently linked to truckers and claims its operations have affected local water supplies. Newmont Goldcorp has long accused local leaders and politicians of exploiting social causes to extort the company.

The company said operations would remain temporarily suspended pending “further evaluation of the situation on the ground and assurances that the blockade will not be allowed to resume.”

In September, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador accused some of the protest leaders of seeking money rather than legitimate social goals. He asked the parties involved in the conflict to resolve their differences.

Newmont Goldcorp has said it offered $25 million here in community investments and land rental fees to resolve the conflict at Penasquito, but activists said they were unsatisfied.

Reporting by Noe Torres and Shariq Khan; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Bernadette Baum