Armed robbers stole an estimated 7,000 ounces of gold worth some US $8.5 million from the El Gallo I mine in Sinaloa yesterday.
The thieves got away with nearly a tonne of partially processed ore from the refinery at the mine, owned by Toronto, Canada-based McEwen Mining Inc.
“The crime is being vigorously investigated by the Mexican authorities,” McEwen Mining said in a statement. “No employees were seriously injured and there was no material damage to any of the company’s facilities.”
The mine is situated in the community of El Magistral, 19 kilometers from the town of Mocorito, and began operating in 2013.
The company said its insurance will cover some, but not all, of the loss. The mine continues to operate in spite of the robbery.
Security is a big challenge for the mining industry.
In Guerrero’s gold-mining region, security problems have delayed the start of production at the Morelos mining project, owned by another Canadian firm, Torex Gold Resources Inc.
Four workers were among several people who were abducted in February, resulting in a temporary work stoppage. The company bought the mine in 2010; a year later five of its trucks were stolen in an armed robbery.
“Anyone with a gun can do whatever they want and there’s no authority to go to,” Torex spokeswoman Gabriela Sánchez told the Financial Post last month. The authorities don’t see a lot of strategic value to the area, she added.
Source: Excélsior (sp)