Friday, 15 April 2011

Drug gangs clash with dogged miners in Mexico

Mexican drug cartels greedy for new sources of revenue are targeting the country's rich mines, pushing up companies' security costs and prompting at least one project to be halted.

Vast mineral deposits have made Mexico the world's top silver producer and a major source of gold and copper, and the potential riches are too attractive to walk away from, according to companies expected to invest more than $4 billion in the sector this year.

But as international metals prices surge, gunmen are attacking workers to steal valuable ores and equipment at often remote mining sites that have fallen under the gaze of drug gangs extending their reach into new criminal rackets.

Canadian miner Torex Gold Resources Inc halted drilling at its exploration property in the western state of Guerrero last month after assailants stole trucks. Mexican authorities blamed a drug cartel for illegally extracting iron ore at another site and exporting it to China.

Shares in the company slid afterward and although an isolated incident, it raised alarm bells nearby, including a site owned by Canada's Newstrike Capital Inc, which is exploring gold prospects in Cuetzala del Progreso in Guerrero.

Inspecting the property with a group of major shareholders, Newstrike's chief executive Richard Whittall said



Related Posts with Thumbnails