Update: Grupo Mexico: Water Pollution caused by damage

As previously reported on 08/28/2014 on our website,1 a leak in early August, at the Buena Vista Copper mine in Cananea Sonora, operated by the mining company Grupo Mexico, led to the pollution of two rivers. The Mexican Water Commission found exceedances for arsenic and other metals such as sulfuric acid.2

The Environment Agency, Profepa, has now ordered the partial closure of the Buena Vista copper mine, after Grupo Mexico was found to be engaging in “highly risky” activities and failing to abide by the relevant rules.3 Inspectors had found irregularities, posing a huge risk to the environment and surrounding ecosystems.4

For days after the accident, Profepa measured exceedances in arsenic and metals in the waters of Sonora and was obliged to prohibit the use of water for several weeks. The authorities issued a directive to the mine which limits the mine’s copper leaching activities, but it was unclear the extent of the impact on the mine’s actvities. A criminal lawsuit is also being fined against Grupo Mexico. 5

According to the prosecutor the company is facing a fine of up to $3 million for water contamination.6

Profepa stressed in this context that the review of all mines operating in the country is expected to be completed this year.7 


  1. https://www.facing-finance.org/de/2014/08/grupo-mexico-mine-spill/ []
  2. Die Welt.19.08.2014. http://www.welt.de/newsticker/news1/article131366853/Wasserverseuchung-Mexikos-Behoerden-schliessen-80-Schulen.html accessed 15.09.2014 []
  3. Mining.com 02.09.2014.  http://www.mining.com/mexico-forces-partial-closure-of-mine-responsible-for-massive-toxic-spill-75205/?utm_source=digest-en-mining-140902&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=digest accessed 15.09.2014 []
  4. Notimex.01.09.2014 -Spanish text.  Http://www.notimex.com.mx/acciones/verNota.php?clv=169643. accessed 15.09.2014. []
  5. Mining.com 02.09.2014. http://www.mining.com/mexico-forces-partial-closure-of-mine-responsible-for-massive-toxic-spill-75205/?utm_source=digest-en-mining-140902&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=digest accessed 15.09.2014 []
  6. http://www.dw.de/mexiko-schulen-schlie%C3%9Fen-wegen-wasserverseuchung/a-17862226?maca=de-rss-de-all-1119-rdf []
  7. Notimex.01.09.2014 -Spanish text. Http://www.notimex.com.mx/acciones/verNota.php?clv=169643. accessed 15.09.2014. []
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