SEMARNAT Gives Red Light to Almaden’s Ixtaca ProjectBy Paloma Duran | Wed, 12/23/2020 - 09:56
Almaden Mineral has received a notification from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), denying the company’s initial environment permit application (MIA) for its Ixtaca project.
The Ixtaca Gold Silver Deposit located in Puebla is one of Mexico’s premier precious metal discoveries. It is located 120 km southeast from the Pachuca Mine, considered one of the largest gold and silver deposits in the country.
In 2018, the company carried out a feasibility study that estimated an annual production of 18,500 oz gold and 7.06 million oz silver over the first six years. Moreover, the company reports the Ixtaca project has an outstanding inventory of precious metals that can be increased through drilling programs and a further exploration of the deposit.
In an interview with MBN, Daniel Santamaria, Mexico Vice President of Mineria Gorrion, Subsidiary of Almaden Minerals Ltd, said Ixtaca will be the first modern metal mine in the state of Puebla and that its potential is undeniable. However, its development requires the constant support of government authorities.
Almaden’s CEO and President, Morgan Poliquin, said the company wants to demonstrate its commitment to modern and responsible mining by promoting the Ixtaca project that will be an economic boost for the company and the region.
In a press release, Almaden explained SEMARNAT denied the permit because the company did not include sufficient information concerning environmental impacts. However, Almaden said SEMARNAT did not consider the company’s prevention, mitigation and compensation measures that were part of its MIA application.
Almaden explained that the company had received a letter from the Federal Bureau of Environment Protection (PROFEPA), which confirmed that the company’s program had been conducted by abiding to the environmental code.
Poloquin said “the company is disappointed with SEMARNAT's decision. We will review the reasons provided and the factors that may have led to this decision and determine a path to move this project forward”. Moreover, he added that this project should be approved because it is highly profitable and can make a difference for local communities in the short and long term.
Almaden said the company is currently evaluating alternatives such as re-submitting a revised MIA, continuing talks with the government and other legal options. The company emphasized that if it chooses to re-submit the MIA, Almaden has the means to do it as soon as possible.
Having the project approved is one of Almaden´s top priorities due to its importance to the company and communities. The company explained that the community has expressed its support to the project and that more than 800 people have signed a declaration of support. Moreover, the project is expected to employ more than 400 people during the eleven years of the mine´s life, besides providing an infrastructure that is highly need in this marginalized region.
In an interview with MBN, Poliquin said “Almaden Minerals takes social licenses very seriously and in the last 10 years has carried out consultations through more than 20,000 interactions in over 35 communities. It has monthly technical meetings in the community providing community members access to outside technical experts and has provided mine tours for around 500 community members to see operating mines elsewhere in Mexico as part of the company’s informed consent initiatives”.