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Goldcorp says 'no basis' for closing mine

Miners work a tunnel in Goldcorp's Marlin gold mine in Guatemala.

DANIEL LECLAIR

Goldcorp Inc. says there's "no basis" for closing its Marlin mine while the Guatemalan government conducts what it calls an "administrative process" to deal with allegations that the rights of local people have been violated.

Goldcorp of Vancouver says the Guatemalan government agrees that studies by several of its ministries have found no evidence the mine has contaminated the water supply or caused disease.

But the company says Guatemala has agreed to work with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a Washington-based organization that has asked for operations at the mine to be suspended.

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The chief executive officer of Goldcorp, Chuck Jeannes, says Goldcorp has been assured it will have an opportunity to demonstrate there has been no adverse environmental or health impacts from the mine.

The company, which currently employs about 1,900 people at the mine, has been under pressure for months by rights groups that say local communities weren't consulted properly when the mine was approved by the Guatemalan government.

Critics of the mine also say there's evidence of health problems among people living near the mine but the Washington-based rights watchdog is still investigating and hasn't drawn any conclusion about the validity of the claims.

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