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Protesters pause blockade at Goldcorp's Penasquito for talks

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Protesters pause blockade at Goldcorp's Penasquito for talks

Protesters ended a five-day blockade of Goldcorp Inc.'s Penasquito gold mine Tuesday evening while agreeing to talks, Felipe Pinedo Hernandez, one of the protest leaders, confirmed to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The blockade, which Pinedo Hernandez said is about water use and alleged pollution related to the mine in Zacatecas, Mexico, began Sept. 28 and restricted access to the site.

Protesters, Goldcorp representatives and government officials met late Oct. 3, clearing the way for talks to begin. The parties will meet again Oct. 6, according to Pinedo Hernandez and media reports.

Ahead of the Oct. 3 talks, Goldcorp spokesperson Christine Marks expressed confidence that the blockade would end. "We expect this to be resolved in the next day or two," she said in an email.

Marks said the blockade had not affected Penasquito production and Goldcorp had "enough supplies on hand to last many more days before production would be impacted."

Speaking on the phone Oct. 4, Pinedo Hernandez warned that should talks fail to satisfy protest leaders, they could choose to blockade the mine again.

"It's one of the weapons we have," he said.

Protesters blocked access to Penasquito for nearly two weeks in late 2016 before agreeing to talks over similar issues.