Minera El Boleo Receives Green Light From SEMARNATBy Paloma Duran | Thu, 07/01/2021 - 13:41
Minera y Metalúrgica El Boleo announced it has received SEMARNAT’s approval for the expansion of its MIA, which was requested to cover an additional 446ha for the exploitation of copper, cobalt and zinc in Mulegé, Baja California Sur.
Minera y Metalúrgica El Boleo announced that the extension of its environmental permit was approved by SEMARNAT, nevertheless, due to unknown circumstances, operations continue to be suspended. However, the company said that this approval is an important step to continue working and taking care of its workers and their families.
The municipal president of Mulegé José Prado applauded SEMARNAT's approval and explained that the mine's operations will begin in four months as the company must first comply with SEMARNAT’s requirements. He added that the owners of Boleo will travel to Mexico City to plan the start of mining activities and complete the remaining procedures.
Environmentalists have complained that the resolution was delivered only to the company and is not open to the public, so it is unknown under what terms SEMARNAT’s authorization was granted.
Previously, in an effort to understand the opinion of the communities regarding the possible expansion of the company, SEMARNAT carried out a consultation. The consultation consisted of four stages; the first was a presentation of the expansion project; the second was a citizen assessment carried out from June 13 to 17; the third stage was a questionnaire from June 18 to 20; and the fourth is the publication of the results, which the company received on June 26.
The consultation was given to the main communities surrounding Mulége: San Ignacio, San Bruno, Heroica, Mulége and Santa Rosalía, where 2,481 citizens participated and resulted in 89 percent of the votes in favor of the expansion.
However, head of SEMARNAT’s Social Participation and Transparency Unit, Daniel Quezada, said that the consultation had no binding effect on SEMARNAT’s decision to allow the expansion. Quezada explained that it was only an exercise within the framework of the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Citizen Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, which entered into effect on April 22.
Minera y Metalúrgica El Boleo operates the El Boleo mine in Baja California Sur. Its construction began in 2010 and since 2015 it has produced copper, cobalt, zinc and manganese. In 2019, Minera Boleo requested to extend its environmental permit to cover an additional 446ha as its resources are running out. The expansion project will have a duration of 16 years and an annual production of 30,000 tons of copper, 800 tons of cobalt and 1,187 tons of zinc sulfate monohydrate is expected.