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Goldcorp continuing talks with Penasquito protesters

Goldcorp Inc. said negotiations with protesters blockading the Penasquito gold mine in Zacatecas, Mexico, continue, while it remains unclear if access — or how much access — to the mine site has been regained.

Hector Alvarado, a spokesman for Zacatecas Gov. Alejandro Tello, said workers could leave the mine, in response to questions about the state of the blockade from SNL Metals & Mining via Twitter messaging Oct. 6.

However, Goldcorp spokeswoman Christine Marks said via email Oct. 6 that "the situation is dynamic."

"We continue to engage in dialogue. We will provide an update when there is material news."

SNL Metals & Mining confirmed a media report with Goldcorp on Oct. 4 that a police operation had begun early that day to clear trucks blockading Penasquito.

Zacatecas state police, reached by phone Oct. 5, would not give details on the status of the operation. Media reports say that some trucks, reportedly numbering over 100, have been removed, while protesters remain.

The trucks have blocked access to the mine, confining about 700 workers on site since Sept 26.

Reuters reported that protesters allowed a truck to pass with food for confined workers on site, while negotiations to let a truck with water to get in were underway. Meanwhile, NTR Zacatecas, wrote that a Goldcorp representative in Mexico said there had been no free access to enter the mine.

Goldcorp said protesting truckers are unhappy by the gold miner's recent decision to diversify its supply chain. That is, the miner wants to consider more trucking contractors in doing business.

But the protest has focused on other issues as well, including water quality and construction of a medical clinic.

Penasquito produced nearly 900,000 ounces gold in 2015.

SNL Metals & Mining is an offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence.