Reuters International

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican prosecutors said on Tuesday they were investigating the robbery of more than 1.4 metric tons of silver from a mine in the west of the country in an area racked by drug gang violence.

Preliminary investigations show that at around 3 a.m. on Tuesday, several people entered the vaults of the "El Pilon" mine in the state of Jalisco with their faces covered, the state prosecutor's office said in a statement.

The people stole 57 bars of silver weighing 25 kilograms each using two vehicles owned by the mining company, the statement said.

At the current silver price of $18.29 an ounce, the thieves made off with about $838,000 of the metal.

Jalisco, one of Mexico's most economically important states, is the base of the Jalisco New Generation cartel, which is now considered one of the greatest security threats to the country. It is known for drug trafficking, oil theft, kidnapping and extortion.

(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

Reuters

 Reuters International