The illegal blockade at the Peñasquito mine in Mexico was lifted yesterday, according to owner of the mine, Newmont Goldcorp. The company said it continues to work closely with the federal and state governments toward a long-term solution and this will allow dialogue to continue between the company and the San Juan de Cedros community. Operations at the mine will remain temporarily suspended while the company continues to evaluate the situation.
Operations at Peñasquito have been suspended since the blockade began on September 14. The roadblock was initiated because of community concerns over the water supply and problems related to a trucking contractor.
Newmont Goldcorp said the blockade impacted Peñasquito’s third quarter production by approximately 11,000 gold ounces (oz), 1.7 million silver oz, 13.7 million pounds of lead and 22.8 million pounds of zinc, and is expected to impact the company’s full-year results for the operation. Through September 30, this represents an approximate production shortfall of 11,000 gold oz and 51,000 gold equivalent oz from co-products.
The company said it has enhanced water availability for the mine’s 25 neighboring communities through a number of projects, including water treatment plants, new wells, pipelines and water trucks, along with 90 other infrastructure and community development projects. This includes installing and operating a reverse osmosis plant in the Cedros community with a capacity of 600,000 liters of drinking water per day.
Peñasquito directly employs more than 6,500 people while supporting another 20,000 indirect jobs in the region. Since 2005, the company has invested approximately US$5 billion in Peñasquito.