Last week armed robbers made off with 7,000 ounces of gold worth $8.5 million from a mine operated by the publicly-traded McEwen Mining in western Sinaloa, and the company's CEO Rob McEwen is backtracking his statement in an interview about the incident in which he "acknowledged that 'the cartels are active' in the area but said 'generally we have a good relationship with them'" as reported by Marie Alcober for BNN:
He now wants to clarify that statement, calling it "careless."
"My answer was related to gaining access to properties we wish to explore," McEwen wrote in a press release. "It is our policy to contact all property owners or impacted community members in an area to seek their permission and ascertain the appropriate timing to enter their properties to conduct mineral exploration."
The interview has stirred Mexican media, which McEwen said has "created the entirely false impression" that the gold miner deals with criminals in the region. "This is simply not true," he said.
Meanwhile, the president of the Mexican Association of Mining, Metallurgical and Geological Engineers has confirmed "that mining firms in the area ask for the drug cartels' permission to operate in mining areas" as reported by teleSUR.