Mexico closes US gravel quarry that had been pressured

MEXICO CITY (AP) - The Mexican government said Friday it has closed a limestone gravel quarry owned by a U.S. company, a move likely to add fuel to an ongoing trade dispute with the firm.

The Environment Department said Friday it closed the quarry owned by Vulcan Materials near Playa del Carmen, on the Caribbean coast. Parts of the quarry have been excavated below the water table, and the department said the mining threatened water quality and subsoil conditions.

But the timing of the move raised questions: Vulcan has been operating the quarry for around three decades, and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had recently threatened the company.

López Obrador wants the water-filled quarry to be used as a theme park to rival the nearby XCaret park. He also wants Vulcan to build a cruise ship dock at a freight terminal it operates on the coast.