Just three months after the latest, 80-day blockade that affected Newmont Goldcorp’s (NYSE: NEM) (TSX: NGT) Peñasquito gold mine in Mexico, employees of the trucking contractor leading the protest action together with some members of the Cedros community, are once again obstructing access to the mine located in the north-central Zacatecas state.
Local media report that Saturday afternoon, some 40 workers from the CAVA trucking company decided to rally again to pressure Peñasquito into hiring them. They also said that the miner hasn’t recognized the fact that its extractive activities are drying out the Cedros’ water well and damaging the environment.
The action, however, came as a surprise as just hours before, the Vancouver-based company together with state and federal authorities announced that everyone had agreed to stop the blockades and that, in exchange, Newmont-Goldcorp would pay about $2.9 million to the Los Cedros community, withdraw the criminal complaints filed against the blockaders, rehire 19 workers that were dismissed, reinstall the services of four local transportation providers, build a swimming pool, sports fields and a park for the community, come up with a water-management plan that takes into consideration people’s concerns about the utilization of the local aquifer, among other commitments.
Jose Narro Cespedes, a Zacatecas senator that belongs to Mexico’s ruling party Morena, issued a communiqué begging for the urgent installation of a new negotiation table.
Some 20,000 direct and indirect workers have been affected by the activists’ actions this year, as just in mid-June was Peñasquito able to resume the shipping of concentrate after being forced to stop operations in April.
Newmont-Goldcorp was approached via email by MINING.com for a comment related to the new blockade but the company did not respond by publication time.
Peñasquito is an open-pit mine that produced 272,000 ounces of gold last year, accounting for about 17% of the combined company’s net asset value, according to Scotiabank.