Minera Gorrión Signs Cooperation Agreement with Community
Minera Gorrión and 60 ejidatarios of the Santa María Zotoltepec community in Ixtacamaxtitlán, Puebla signed a collaboration agreement. The community members will receive support consisting of improved seeds and quality pesticides for agricultural use as well as training.
During a community meeting, the shared benefits were unanimously approved by the attendees. The accord was signed by the local Surveillance Committee and ratified by both parties.
The ejidatarios had previously expressed they were open to the mining group developing its project in the Ixtacamaxtitlan municipality. They mentioned they had already received health, construction and education support from the company.
The Ixtaca project is currently suspended after the Supreme Court (SCJN) canceled the company's concessions. Previously, Minera Gorrión, a subsidiary of Almaden Minerals, clarified that the SCJN asked the Ministry of Economy to carry out a consultation with the community, which never took place. The company added that the consultation should have been completed before granting the concession titles to develop the project.
On December 18, 2020, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) rejected a permit for the project. However, in February 2023 the mining company prepared a new EIA to be able to continue with its operations that started in 2001.
Throughout 2022, community members from Ixtacamaxtitlan, Puebla protested against the Canada-based company for allegedly continuing operations despite being banned from doing so by the SCJN. The Union of Ejidos and Communities in Defense of Land, Water and Life Atcolhua and the Tiyat Tlali reported that despite Almaden’s Ixtaca project concession cancellation, the company has not withdrawn its personnel from the municipality. Protestors said that they would not allow new mining projects and urged the government to ban further concessions in the area as well as to respect the local communities.
The former Governor of Puebla has assured that the company would not come back to the municipality since it had not carried out the Indigenous consultations required by the SCJN. Nonetheless, the governor also has qualified the community’s claims as unfounded as the law already forbids the company to operate.
The Ixtaca project is a silver-gold mining development discovered by Almaden Minerals in 2001. According to a feasibility study in 2018, it has probable reserves of over 85 million oz of silver and 1.3 million oz of gold.