Mexico City • A mining conglomerate charged Thursday that it is being subjected to "punitive" legal actions by Mexican officials because one of its mines spilled acid-laced copper sulfate and heavy metals into two rivers.
Environmental authorities have ordered a full inspection of Grupo Mexico's Buenavista copper mine near the U.S. border and threatened possible fines of up to $3 million. Prosecutors, meanwhile, have filed a criminal complaint over the spill, which caused water supplies to be shut off for tens of thousands of people in northern Sonora state.
Late Wednesday, the Mexican Senate passed a nonbinding resolution calling for the government to cancel the mine's operating concession, a move that could affect the $1 billion-a-year mining company that provides 9,000 jobs in the area. The mine produces about 200,000 tons of copper annually.