Apr 8, 2015

$8.5 Million in Gold Reported Stolen from Sinaloa Mine

Americas Program, April 8:

News reports have come out regarding an armed heist of some 900 kilos of gold from a mine in Sinaloa.

All the information in the news articles comes from the company press release, found here.

The company reports that the "gold-bearing concentrate" containing some 7,000 ounces of gold was stolen from its El Gallo 1 mine in the state of Sinaloa. The company states that the mine works two gold deposits and a silver deposit "in the foothills of the Sierra Madre" located in the township of Mocorito on ejido and private lands. It further states that there were no injuries and no material damage and that business continues as usual.

The company, which has its head offices in Toronto, writes that the Mexican authorities are "vigorously investigating" the crime. Mexican authorities have issued no statements so far, a day after the April 7 announcement.

The amount of concentrate carted off and the apparent absence of a clash between company security forces and the robbers raises many questions regarding just how this crime occured. The company reports that the insurance company will be paying damages although "the Company's policy will not be sufficient to cover the entire expected loss."

In 2012 the Federal Attorney General's Office (PGR) reported seven open cases of mine robberies in silver and gold, in the states of Sonora, Durango, Chihuahua, San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas. Lately Michoacan has seen entire mining areas taken over by organized crime, with direct sales to China according to some sources, including this interview I did with Tania Vazquez some weeks back. Some reports indicate that agreements are made with drug cartels. Previous robberies have been mostly of lingots in transport but the PGR stated that some criminal groups have the capacity to refine gold-laden material.

An outright robbery of a refinery has been relatively rare. It will be interesting to watch for more information as this case continues.

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