Since late summer, the biggest news coming out of the Mexican mining industry has been the fallout surrounding several major spills. None of them sparked as much attention as one particular spill in northern Mexico.
As we’ve already reported, a major spill from a copper mine along the United States-Mexico border in early August affected a main waterway, contaminating the water supply of hundreds of thousands of people. On August 20, it was reported that Grupo had lied regarding the nature of the spill, blaming it on heavy rainfall rather than on maintenance problems or human error:
“That was totally false,” Guerra Abud was quoted as saying, noting there were no rains on a scale that could have caused the disaster. In fact, he added, there was zero precipitation on Aug. 6, the day the spill was detected (Mining.com).
As of September 2, the company still had not issued an apology taking responsibility for the spill. According to Forbes, this spill could well be considered the worst ecological disaster in Mexican history, and the time had come for the company to shoulder the responsibility of cleanup.
In mid-September, at long last, Bloomberg was able to report that Groupo had at last admitted that defective pipe seals “contribued” to the spill and had agreed to provide $150 million toward cleanup of the water suplly in Sonora state. Federal officials would be sent to oversee the process. This is only fitting since “Grupo Mexico and its Buenavista del Cobre mine have put at risk human life, the environment and the region’s economic development” (Bloomberg).
It is good for the rest of the Mexican mining industry that Groupo Mexico has finally taken some responsibility for the spill and have began contributing to the clean up. This will help everyone move on from this unfortunate accident. We can only hope that mining firms like Groupo Mexico learn from these costly accidents and take more preventative measures to help ensure that environmental disasters like this happen a whole lot less. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
All questions of responsibility and blame aside, it’s good to know that northern Mexican residents will soon be able to access a clean water supply.
Remember that we carry a full stock of OTR tires for all of your mining and farming needs. Please feel free to contact us for the best deals.