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Canadian-owned mines in Mexico are experiencing security threats and protests, which in turn affected their operations. In an attempt to finally put a stop to these, both Mexico and Canada have joined forces to launch a task force that will address the mines’ current problems.
Earlier this month, Golcorp was forced to suspend production operations in their largest gold mine in the country. A transport company wreaked havoc as it blocked the main access going to the site in the northern state Zacatecas. The event was in conjunction with the Canadian firm’s plan to expand into its local transportation supply chain.
This was not the first time that Golcorp voiced out a complaint. Last year, the firm also claimed that violence was rampant within the vicinity in their gold mine in the southern state of Guerrero. One of the troubling incidents was when drugs cartels just buried their victims in unknown graves. On top of this, they also taxed the workers.
Similarly, Canada’s McEwen Mining Company fell victim to unscrupulous people who robbed their mine in the northern state of Sinaloa in April 2015, which cost the company 7,000 ounces of gold that was worth US$8.5 million.
Although the problems of Golcorp and other miners were not mentioned, Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu and Canadian counterpart Stephane Dion did say that they discussed the possible ways on how Canadian business and investors could find a mutually beneficial relationship with Mexico.
Dion said that the task force was primarily intended as a solution to the challenges faced by Canadian firms in the extractive sector. He also mentioned that Canadian companies make up most of direct foreign investment in Mexico’s mining sector at 70 per cent which is why he says that they are serious about improving the conditions in any way they can, thus the task force was formed.
If the task force will prove successful, then it’s possible that this will attract more Canadian mining foreign investors in the Mexican territory.