Security forces used tear gas Friday to break up a demonstration against a gold mine project in southern Guatemala, arresting four people.

Clashes with the protesters occurred while officers were unblocking the access road to the project site in the municipality of San Jose del Golfo, National Police spokesman Pablo Castillo told reporters, adding that no one was injured.

Protests against Guatemalan company Exploraciones Mineras de Centroamerica, which in October acquired the 50 percent it did not already own in the project from Canadian joint-venture partner Argonaut Gold, began in March.

The project is located three kilometers (1.9 miles) from the center of San Jose del Golfo.

Local residents told reporters they oppose the El Sastre project because it will cause pollution and could deprive the community of potable water.

A study by Argonaut Gold showed the site could contain 500,000 ounces of gold reserves.

A group of protesters demonstrated Thursday outside the Canadian Embassy in Guatemala City against mining activity by Canadian firms Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources in parts of northwestern Guatemala. EFE