Esperanza Silver reached an agreement with the Tetlama community, which lives close to its Esperanza mining project. The company informed that owing to the transparency of the project, the inhabitants were able to participate actively in the mine’s development.
The project’s technical decisions so far were consulted in local assemblies, featuring strong participation from the community’s inhabitants and the involvement of the community, as well as representatives of the local government, said the company. Moreover, Esperanza Silver revealed that the municipality, the ejido and agricultural representatives have helped with the design and development of two fundamental technical projects. They also participated in the development of the mine’s technical studies, which among other issues addressed the risk of surface water contamination in the region and analyzed the soil.
“Another very important study was geotechnical, a technical study of soil in the entire region via different types of drilling at varying levels to understand the geological extract, the rocks, the soil, the subsoil and more. [The community] participated in the [project’s] design. Not only that, but they gave us the authorizations to enter their land in order to create jobs there,” added Ricardo Sierra, a spokesman for Esperanza Silver.
The decision to invite the community to actively participate in the project is part of a model for social and environmentally responsible mining promoted by Esperanza Silver. Although mining operations have not started, the company already established alliances with civil society organizations to promote education in San Agustín Tetlama, Temixco.
In the past, communities have condemned big companies of imposing their projects on communally-owned land, which caused harm to both parties. President López Obrador and other authorities have frequently accused the mining sector of being unwilling to carry out consultations. Nevertheless, The Mexican Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX) highlighted that mining is one of the industries that most contributes to the development of communities in Mexico, especially those that are marginalized. “Companies that are part of the chamber are not opposed to the consultations,” the chamber stated.
Due to the growing importance of ESG factor and the demand for Indigenous consultation frameworks, the Chamber of Deputies approved the General Law for the Consultation of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples and Communities. The decree was sent to the Senate and is currently under discussion there. If approved, Mexico would finally have a formal framework to consult these communities on potentially invasive mining decisions.