June 15, 2018 / 10:25 PM / 4 months ago

Protesters lift blockade at Goldcorp's Peñasquito mine in Mexico

MEXICO CITY, June 15 (Reuters) - Truck drivers that had been blocking access for two weeks to a Mexican mine operated by Canadian miner Goldcorp lifted their blockade and will negotiate their demands with the firm, protesters and company representatives said on Friday.

Work at the company’s Peñasquito mine, which is one of the top gold producers in Mexico, was not affected by the protests, said Michael Harvey, Goldcorp’s director of corporate affairs in Mexico.

The blockade began on June 1 and was lifted on Thursday, led by local truck-drivers who say the company reneged on promises to hire locally.

“We maintained production throughout the blockade. We are well organized to withstand these types of illegal blockades,” Harvey said. “There are always impacts, but our production forecasts have not changed.”

Harvey said that the dialogue with protesters would continue on Friday. Ascension Carrillo, one of the leaders of the truck drivers, also confirmed that the blockade was lifted.

Peñasquito, which is located in the northern state of Zacatecas, produced 476,000 ounces of gold last year, comprising 18 percent of Goldcorp’s total production.

Late last year, a group of local residents also blocked access to the mine, protesting for more than a week over a water dispute. The company later said it was able to resume operations without a hit to production. (Reporting by Noe Torres Writing by Julia Love; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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