Grupo Mexico’s Buenavista Copper Mine Beset by More Flooding

Grupo Mexico SAB says heavy rains during Hurricane Odile caused new flooding at its Buenavista del Cobre copper mine in the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora, sparking pollution concerns.

Rains last week caused two reservoirs at the mine to fill with water, prompting the company to activate pumping teams as it seeks to contain the situation, Grupo Mexico said in a statement today.

A spill at the same mine Aug. 6 contaminated the water supplies of at least 24,000 people, according to the government. Shares fell in response, and the company spent $150 million on its cleanup effort.

Chemicals were released following the latest flooding at Buenavista and have contaminated the Bacanuchi and Sonora rivers, said Vidal Vasquez Chacon, the mayor of Arizpe, according to the newspaper Reforma. Acid levels in the rivers are normal, Grupo Mexico said in its statement.

The company didn’t immediately respond to e-mail and telephone requests for more details.

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