Union mine officials from Industrias Peñoles mining company, the Naica mine in the northern state of Chihuahua, say due to the January 1 flood, the mine may remain out of operation for another six months. The mine is the country’s second-richest lead mine producing lead, silver and zinc.
Leopoldo Lopez, spokesperson for Peñoles, said the company still does not know what caused the flood but did say there were no injuries. He added that there were no environmental consequences due to the flood and the near-by crystal cave Cueva de los Cristales, was unaffected because it was not close to where the flood occurred.
Naica Mine union leader, Enrique de la Rosa, explained that mine engineers continue with daily meetings in regards to the clean-up of the mine and have projected a five to six month shut down. De la Rosa says the engineers based this time frame on how much water entered the mine and how long it will take to pump it out.
Leopoldo Lopez did note that the company was still in the evaluation process and was not 100 percent certain as to how long the mine would be shut. He also said that they do not yet have any information on the financial impact of the flood.
Mexican brokerage firm, Intercam, has estimated that for every 15 days the mine is closed, Industrias Peñoles will lose about 7 percent of sales which is the equivalent to $178 million peso ($11.96 million US).