Image credits: Sébastien Barbieri
News Article

Minera Cuzcatlán Gets Red Light from SEMARNAT

By Paloma Duran | Tue, 08/03/2021 - 10:36

Minera Cuzcatlán's MIA permit aimed to regularize its works at Ocotlán Valley in Oaxaca, was denied by SEMARNAT for not meeting the minimum requirements to ensure regulatory compliance. Following SEMARNAT´s decision, Minera Cuzcatlán announced it has filed an appeal for its MIA to be evaluated a second time.

The MIA permit was presented by Minera Cuzcatlán on July 7, 2020, after PROFEPA detected 75 works in the San José II complex that were built without respecting the previous MIA approved by SEMARNAT in 2009.

SEMARNAT announced that the new MIA permit "lacks sufficient technical support to provide certainty and reliability (...). The applicant does not comply with the minimum information required to guarantee compliance with the regulations." Likewise, the agency argued that the company previously exceeded preventive environmental measures and violated the right to a healthy environment of the communities by not having the MIA permit for 75 works.

SEMARNAT stressed that the company should have presented an in-depth analysis of the results of its programs and measures it has implemented to ensure that its works have not caused or will not cause harmful ecological impacts.

Since September, the association “ Frente No a la Minería por un Futuro de Todas y Todos” demanded the rejection of the MIA permit, since the company "has incurred in a series of legal omissions in environmental matters and generating serious environmental impacts in the Central Valleys." Currently, there are 12 Zapotec communities that integrate the “Fronte No” to Mining and have demanded respect for their constitutional rights to self-determination of their lands and natural assets.

Minera Cuzcatlán stated that its MIA complies with technical and environmental requirements. However, it announced its willingness to work with SEMARNAT to address any necessary clarifications. The company also reported it has filed a review appeal outlining the reasons why its MIA should be reevaluated.

Regarding the accusations, the company emphasized that for more than 15 years it has been operating in Mexico, it has fully complied with legal, fiscal, regulatory, labor and environmental obligations. The company highlighted that it allocates more than MX$600 million per year to offer well-paid salaries, contract services and develops education, culture, health and infrastructure projects.

Likewise, the company argued that the accusations about the effects on the health of the communities lack evidence and scientific support. The company reiterated its willingness to dialogue and collaboration with the Magdalena Ocotlán community to continue promoting its development.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
SEMARNAT, MBN, Minera Cuzcatlán, El Universal
Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst