La Esperanza Proves Sustainability in Mining is Possible
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La Esperanza Proves Sustainability in Mining is Possible

Photo by:   Shane McLendon
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Fernando Mares By Fernando Mares | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Mon, 04/11/2022 - 22:09

La Esperanza Silver, a subsidiary of Canada’s Alamos Gold, is looking to develop mining projects at San Agustin Tetlama in Temixco, Morelos. Its most recent project is La Esperanza, which the company emphasized set a precedent for socially and environmentally responsible mining in the country. 


With an investment of around US$500 million projected for the next 10 years, La Esperanza is intended to create over 1,200 direct jobs and 6,000 indirect ones in the region, which has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The minerals to be mined are gold, with resources of approximately 1.5Moz, and silver with approximately 16Moz.


What sets the La Esperanza project apart is that it is developed based on the company’s New Model of Socially and Environmentally Responsible Mining, derived from the White Paper Mapping Mining to the Sustainable Development Goals: An Atlas, published by the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). These foundations set up a path toward a mining industry that cares about gender equality, education, climate action, water and cheap, clean energy, among other UN Sustainable Development Goals.


The La Esperanza Project aims to be an example for companies that want to be seen as socially and environmentally responsible. It also sets a framework that projects can use to speed up their transition toward better practices. In this transition, it is important to create synergies between government, private sector, as well as civil society. 


Recently, Zacatecas Silver acquired the Esperanza Gold project from Alamos Gold. Now, the companies are forming a new partnership. With the operational experience of Alamos Gold and Zacatecas Silver’s exploration experience, the project is expected to continue evolving. The companies’ main short-term priority is to engage with surrounding communities to guarantee their right to consultation and foster their own decision-making processes, as well as to establish respect for the environment and its communities.

Collaborating with the surrounding communities, especially if they are Indigenous, plays a key role in the success or failure of a mining project. Communities can feel threatened by mining activities, but can also gain benefits from the industry. According to the Mexican Geological Service, there are over 242 mining companies in the country and around 45 of them received the Socially Responsible Company (ESR) distinction in 2021.

Photo by:   Shane McLendon

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