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MEXICO CITY, May 25 (Reuters) – Mexico will go to local and international courts if it fails to reach an agreement with U.S. firm Vulcan Materials over its mining activity in the eastern state of Quintana Roo, a President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday.
The Mexican government shut down the company’s (VMC.N) operations earlier this month, citing concerns about the impact of the company’s underwater limestone mining on the local environment and groundwater. .
The president’s comments were the latest chapter in a long-running dispute between the Mexican government and the Alabama-based company.
In a new regular conference, Lopez Obrador said the company’s methods for extracting limestone amounted to an “ecological disaster” and said discussions were underway with the company to find another use for the site. .
“What is very clear is that we are no longer allowing the extraction of the material,” the president said, adding that operations would remain suspended until an agreement is reached on the future use of the material. site.
Lopez Obrador has previously complained about the “destruction” of the area as a result of the Vulcan mine.
In February, the Mexican government said it was negotiating a settlement of a $1.1 billion lawsuit filed by Vulcan over a previous quarry closure. Read more
In April, Interior Minister Adan Augusto Lopez said Vulcan had accepted a proposal to turn the quarry into a tourist attraction.
The American company Vulcan, one of the main producers of gravel, sand and crushed stone, operates in Mexico through its Calica unit, which has several concessions in the southeastern state of Quintana Roo, where it extracts crushed limestone which is then shipped to the United States, where it is used in construction.
In an email Wednesday, Vulcan spokeswoman Janet F. Kavinoky said the company was looking to restart suspended operations.
“As we have indicated in the past, Vulcan has the necessary clearances to operate and intends to vigorously pursue all legal avenues available to it in order to protect its rights and resume normal operations,” Kavinoky said.
Earlier this month, a group of 10 Republican U.S. senators sent a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden asking him to take a tougher stance against Lopez Obrador’s “aggression” of U.S. businesses in Mexico, citing the Vulcan case.
Reporting by Valentine Hilaire and Brendan O’Boyle; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Sandra Maler
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