Goldcorp faces lawsuit threat from Mexico and a $3.2 million fine in ArgentinaPublished by MAC on 2013-12-10
Goldcorp faces lawsuit threat from Mexico and a $3.2 million fine in Argentina
9 December 2013
Canadian gold giant Goldcorp has more than enough reasons to suffer from "Monday Blues," as it began the week with a group challenging its use of lands around the Peñasquito mine in Mexico and a US$3.2 million fine for transgressions to health and safety standards at its Argentinian Cerro Negro mine.
The Vancouver-based gold miner and Mexican landowners group, the Cerro Gordo Ejido, locked horns early in the year, when an agrarian court nullified Goldcorp's lease of the lands and ruled they should be returned to the locals.
The world's biggest gold miner by market value managed to win in June a temporary suspension of such ruling and has been trying to reach a settlement with the group ever since.
However, Reuters reports Goldcorp received Monday a notice from a Canadian law firm said to represent the Cerro Gordo Ejido group, which threatened with litigation in Canada for the properties in question.
Meanwhile, authorities from the Argentine province of Santa Cruz, where the company is developing its Cerro Negro mine, said the miner would have to pay about $3.2 million for breaching health and safety standards.
Opi Santa Cruz (in Spanish) reports that, among the irregularities detected, the company failed to provide enough drinking water to its workers, as well as to keep eating facilities clean.
Goldcorp says Mexican land group threatens Canada suit
9 December 2013
TORONTO/MEXICO CITY - Goldcorp Inc said on Monday a group challenging its use of lands around its Peñasquito mine in Mexico is threatening to sue the company in Canada.
The company and an organization of local landowners, the Cerro Gordo Ejido, have been locked in a tussle for months. Goldcorp in June won a temporary suspension of an agrarian court ruling that nullified Goldcorp's lease of the lands and ordered that the land be returned to the group.
Since then, Goldcorp and the Cerro Gordo Ejido have been in talks with a view to reaching a settlement.
However, Vancouver-based Goldcorp said on Monday it had received a notice from a Canadian law firm purporting to represent the Cerro Gordo Ejido group, threatening litigation against Goldcorp in Canada concerning the same lands.
Goldcorp said it believes the allegations are baseless. It said it will vigorously defend any claim if one is filed.
Alfonso Herrera, a lawyer representing the group, said the landowners had tired of getting hit with injunctions from Goldcorp in Mexico that stalled their case, arguing the company had shown little real desire to negotiate.
He also said the miner had been unwilling to address the group's complaints, which include backpayment on what the landowners say is the correct value of the land bought by Goldcorp and the construction of public works like a hospital.
Herrera said his client chose to take the case to Canada because the landowners believed the country's more rigid legal system would offer them more support than Mexican courts had.
"We're willing to dialogue with them," Herrera said. "But if this process doesn't lead to results, then we will sue them and we'll do it in Canada."
(Reporting by Euan Rocha and Allison Martell in Toronto and Gabriel Stargardter in Mexico City; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Alden Bentley)