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Goldcorp using excessive water at Peñasquito mine - critics

Bnamericas Published: Monday, June 01, 2015
Goldcorp using excessive water at Peñasquito mine - critics

Canadian mining firm Goldcorp is using excessive amounts of water and causing pollution to produce gold at its Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas state, a water campaigner has claimed.

The water used by Gold Corp in the mine in Mazapil, Zacatecas, "is equivalent to three times the water that supplies the city of Zacatecas," water campaigner Elena Burns told BNamericas.

"GoldCorp is pulverizing 140,000 tonnes of mountain per day to extract 6 grams of gold," she said.

"The piles of powdered material are impregnated with cyanide and mercury," which has polluted the water, she added.

In 2009 the mine used three times the amount of water that Gold Corp had originally agreed upon, according to university research collective McGill Research Group Investigating Canadian Mining in Latin America (MICLA).

Mazapil is an agricultural community, so clean and accessible water is an extremely important resource for local people. Community members are therefore very concerned that cyanide used in the mining process is seeping into their water sources, MICLA added.

GoldCorp expects to produce between 700,000 and 750,000 oz of gold this year, according to data from the company's website.

The Peñasquito mine is the largest gold mine in Latin America and one of the most lucrative in the world. It is located in the northeast of Zacatecas state in north-central Mexico, 14 kilometers east of the town of Mazapil.

Gold Corp declined to comment when contacted by BNamericas.

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