Three contractors killed at Penoles mine in Mexico

Reuters News

11/30/2012 6:38:23 PM - Reuters News

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Three contractors were killed on Friday while working on the construction of a ventilation duct at a zinc mine in central Mexico owned by Industrias Penoles, the company said in a release.

Miner and metals processor Penoles, which runs the world's largest primary silver producer, Fresnillo, operates the Tizapa mine in the central State of Mexico in the tiny municipality of Zacazonapan.

Three other contractors also employed by Mineria Castellana were injured and are being treated at a local hospital, Penoles added. The miner could not say if the incident was an explosion, as local media reported previously, but added that an investigation was underway.

Penoles said the Tizapa mine produces mostly zinc, although smaller quantities of lead, copper, silver and gold can also be found in the area.

Some 900 people, including contractors, work at the mine, situated about two hours from the state capital of Toluca, Christian Gomez, a spokesman at the mine, told Reuters earlier on Friday. It was not immediately clear how many of those workers were miners.

In August, the Mexican government suspended work at 32 small coal mines in the northern state of Coahuila due to safety concerns after 13 miners died in the space of three weeks.

A 2006 methane explosion at another mine in Coahuila owned by Grupo Mexico, killed 65 miners.

Penoles shares fell 2.91 percent to close at 646.13 pesos on Friday.

(Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz. Editing by Andre Grenon)