Mexico City, February 22, 2021. Following the Mexican Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat)’s rejection of the Environmental Impact Assessment (MIA) of Almaden Minerals Ltd, the affected communities of Puebla and PODER confirm that investing in the Ixtaca Project can be risky.
The federal environmental authority rejected the MIA of Almaden Minerals’ Ixtaca Project, according to a company statement released December 21, 2020. However, in this and the subsequent statements of January 12 and February 3, 2021, Almaden failed to publicly disclose material information regarding exploration and development of the Ixtaca Deposit than should be taken into account by the investors and potential investors of the project.
Almaden Minerals Ltd omitted the full resolution of Semarnat, in which the authorities argued that the company does not guarantee the protection of the environment, does not comply with Environmental Protection’s General Law, or provide assurance of free, prior, and informed consultation processes dictated by Mexican law, among other issues. Several activities, such as exploration, construction, drilling, or modifications on the terrain, cannot be carried out without an approved MIA. Currently, the company only holds the concessions.
Also, Almaden has repeatedly reported publicly and to its shareholders that exploration and development of the Ixtaca Deposit continues apace, with no mention that legal proceedings in Mexico threaten the Ixtaca Project.
Additionally, it is important to take into account that the company’s Preventative Report has expired, so exploration activities cannot take place until a new Preventative Report is submitted and approved by the authorities.
All the other arguments mentioned in the company’s statements to convince investors and the public that this mining project is environmentally responsible have been repeatedly contested by the communities with scientific and technical arguments, focusing on the impact on their human rights.
Almaden Minerals has repeatedly discussed the importance of positive relationships with local communities publicly. Yet it fails to mention that according to the majority of the communities, neither Almaden nor its subsidiaries or other mining companies have or will ever have their consent to exploit the commons in their territory.
PODER is a regional corporate accountability and human rights NGO accompanying the affected communities.