Mining giants Peñoles and Fresnillo reaffirmed their commitment to the protection of biodiversity and emphasized the importance of sustainable mining, which is why all their projects are located outside of protected natural areas. In addition, the companies said they mitigate any direct or indirect impact that mining activity could have on nearby flora and fauna.
“Modern mining conducts all necessary [environmental] evaluations before installing its many projects. The industry also designs and implements biodiversity protection programs that include the recovery and relocation of flora and fauna, as well as restorative actions carried out during the operation of the mine… These [activities] conclude several years after the mine closes, always adhering to national and international regulation,” said Rafael Rebollar, Director General, Peñoles.
As part of their environmental responsibility policy, both Mexican companies have facilities toward the management of wildlife, like Peñoles’ Ecological Reserve in Velardeña, Durango and Fresnillo’s Unit for Environmental Management (UMA).
Octavio Alvídrez, Director General, Fresnillo, pointed out that before the COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s UMA offered tourist visits to educate people about the importance of taking care of the environment, an effort that Alvídrez expects to be reactivated soon.
At the Ecological Reserve, several herbivorous species can be found, such as bison, buffalos, ostriches, and watusi cattle. At UMA, herbivores, reptiles and carnivores including lions, jaguars, black bears, tigers, wildcats and pumas stand out. Taken together these spaces care for more than 37 species that are registered at environmental ministry SEMARNAT. Furthermore, Peñoles has a protection program for species of cacti, some of which in danger of extinction.
At UMA, all the species it hosts have been rescued by environmental authorities and taken to the unit to receive care. This space is certified as a Center for the Conservation and Investigation of Wildlife by the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA), which considers Fresnillo to be a responsible mining company.
Besides their efforts to protect biodiversity, the mining giants outlined their commitment to use and produce clean energy for their operations in an effort to help mitigate climate change. Rebollar said that investment in clean energy is a key component of the company’s business strategy.