/ Modified aug 30, 2018 3:54 p.m.

Mine Spill Victims Seek to Block Grupo Mexico Tailings Pond

The decision on one of Mexico’s most serious environmental disasters in decades could set precedent for other similar cases.

Buenavista del cobre mine map Google Maps image showing the location of the Buenavista del Cobre mine in the Mexican State of Sonora.

HERMOSILLO, Mex. — Mexico’s Supreme Court will rule soon on a case brought by victims of a massive 2014 mine spill along a river just across the Arizona border in the Mexican state of Sonora.

Residents of the small town of Bacánuchi, a 3.5-hour drive south of Sierra Vista, are hoping the high court will find that they were not adequately consulted by the federal government before it approved a large new tailings pond at the Buenavista del Cobre copper mine.

It was a spill at that same mine in August 2014 that sent millions of gallons of copper sulfate down the Bacanuchi and Sonoran rivers in one of Mexico’s most serious environmental disasters in decades. Buenavista - owned by Grupo Mexico - is one of the largest copper mines in the world.

The company did not respond to a request for comment. The decision could set precedent for other similar cases, according to a court document.

Fronteras Desk
This story is from the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration of Southwestern public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Fronteras Desk.
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