FACTBOX-Police take control of Grupo Mexico’s Cananea mine

June 7 (BestGrowthStock) – Grupo Mexico retook control of Mexico’s
biggest copper mine after hundreds of federal police, backed up
by helicopters, dislodged protesting workers who have been on
strike for nearly three years.

Here are some facts about the mine and the labor conflict:

* Cananea, a sprawling copper pit near the U.S.-Mexico
border, is a potent national symbol since a strike there in
1906 provided one of the sparks for the 1910 Mexican
Revolution. The mine at the time was run by an American

* Before the strike, Cananea had an annual production
capacity of 190,000 tonnes of copper. Grupo Mexico plans to
invest some $3 billion in the mine to boost capacity to 460,000
tonnes. By comparison, BHP’s Escondida pit in Chile, the
world’s largest copper mine, produced 1.1 million tonnes in

* Cananea workers went on strike in July 2007 because of
health and safety concerns. Grupo Mexico says the striking
miners broke equipment, electricity and water systems at the
mine, forcing the company last year to declare force majeure.
The union denies any wrongdoing.

* A Mexican court ruled in February that Grupo Mexico could
terminate the workers’ contracts. With Grupo Mexico back in
control, the mine could be at full production by the end of
2010, a company executive told Reuters.

* As of February, Grupo Mexico estimated losses of more
than $1.5 billion from the Cananea strike. The company has said
it could cost another $100 million to repair and replace
damaged equipment before the mine can be reopened.

* The labor dispute was complicated by a dispute between
authorities and the national mining union’s leader, Napoleon
Gomez, who is living in Canada to avoid arrest on charges of
embezzlement. The government doesn’t recognize Gomez as the
head of the union.


(Reporting by Jason Lange and Adriana Barrera; Editing by
David Gregorio)

FACTBOX-Police take control of Grupo Mexico’s Cananea mine