Grupo Mexico to spend $151m on toxic spill clean-up at Buenavista copper mine

11 September 2014 (Last Updated September 11th, 2014 18:30)

Grupo Mexico and its subsidiaries have agreed to spend $151m to clean-up the toxic spill at its Buenavista del Cobre copper mine in Sonara last month.

Grupo Mexico and its subsidiaries have agreed to spend $151m to clean-up the toxic spill at its Buenavista del Cobre copper mine in Sonara last month.

The decision is part of the agreement between Grupo Mexico and the Mexican Government, where the company has agreed to pay for any environmental and human damage caused by the spill at the mine.

On 6 August, around 40,000m³ of copper sulfate acid solution from Buenavista mine reportedly spilled into the Bacanuchi River in north-west Mexico, killing fish and livestock, and leaving many residents without clean water.

"It's clearly insufficient. The dams to contain any possible spill didn't comply with the standards required by law."

Mexico economy secretary Ildefonso Guajardo said: "Without going before a judge, the company has agreed to wrongdoing and created a trust of Mex$2bn to repair the damage."

The company will also pay a penalty of approximately $3.4m for violating certain environmental regulations.

Meanwhile, Green Party lawmaker David Perez was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying: "The price to pay for having caused this huge disaster is Mex$2bn?

"It's clearly insufficient. The dams to contain any possible spill didn't comply with the standards required by law."

Guajardo added that: "With the agreement, we guarantee that the company will pay the damages according to the law and also the operations of a mine that creates wealth."

Buenavista mine continues to operate and is producing 200,000t of copper a year. The incident occured at a time when the company was investing around $4bn in the facility in order to increase its production capacity to 1.3 million tonnes by 2017.

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