Napoleon Gomez Urrutia, leader of Mexico´s mining union announced on Monday that the strike in the San Rafael mine belonging to Americas Gold and Silver has been lifted. Labor conflicts contributed to the long-lasting closure of the mine in Cosalá, Sinaloa.
Since Jan. 26 2020, the company’s mining operations have been illegally blocked by its union members under the argument that the company must improve the working health conditions of its workers. However, on several occasions, Americas has explained that claims are based on false accusations and that the real objective of the group is to illegally obtain a collective agreement and other contracts related to mining activities, reported MBN.
In order to expedite the lifting of the blockade, Sinaloa’s Governor, Rubén Rocha Moya, had to intervene in the matter and expressed his interest in reaching an agreement. “Three hundred workers have to work in the best conditions and they have to feed their families. We want this economic benefit for the Cosalá community, but also for Sinaloa.”
The main activity of the mine is the extraction of zinc, silver and lead. Cosalá Operations comprise 67 mining concessions covering approximately 19,385ha, these include the San Rafael mine.
Given the 19-month long illegal blockade the activities of the mine were halted, resulting in challenges and financial losses for the firm.
In a press release, the company announced that in 2020 it had a revenue of US$27.9 million and a net loss of US$30.1 million. The company explained that 2020 records could not compare to 2019 due to the illegal blockade at Cosalá Operations, the suspension of operations during the implementation of the Galena Recapitalization Plan and the complicated situation at Relief Canyon.
“Last year was expected to be transformational for the company but was met by a series of unexpected challenges. However, I am confident that the success at the Galena Complex will continue as indicated by the most recent drill results. The illegal blockade at our Cosalá Operations will be resolved and Relief Canyon will reach full production following a difficult ramp-up period,” said President and CEO of Americas, Darren Blasutti, in a press release.
Sinaloa has more than three million residents, representing 2.5 percent of Mexico´s population. Many of them are ready to join the working taskforce that contributes to the development of mining projects across the state. Sinaloa has a terrestrial surface of 57,377 km2, and more than 30 percent of this surface is considered to have mining potential, an important motivating factor for global companies looking for future projects, reported Felipe Carlos Ibarra Retamoza, Sinaloa’s Undersecretary of Promotion and Economic Competitiveness during Mexico Mining Forum 2022 last month.
The state has 13 mining districts with more than 1,400 mining concessions. “Today we have 119 projects that have foreign capital. Investments from Canada, China, the US, Australia and Egypt stand out," said Retamoza. In 2021, private investment in Sinaloa totaled approximately US$343 million, this reflects a positive environment and investment certainty for international investors. In addition, these investments had a notable impact on the state’s economy as employment increased by 20 percent and local communities greatly benefitted from investments mining companies are continuously making in their project areas, explained Retamoza.