US$35 Million to Be Invested in Sonora
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US$35 Million to Be Invested in Sonora

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Paloma Duran By Paloma Duran | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Mon, 05/16/2022 - 16:27

The government of Sonora announced that it will invest over MX$700 million (US$34.91 million) together with Grupo México to carry out water infrastricture upgrades at the Cananea and Nacozari mines. In addition, mining companies in the state have been invited to change their tax residence to Sonora so that the state gains a larger budget and can therefore share the benefits with more of its citizens.

Governor of Sonora Alfonso Durazo announced that MX$670 million (US$33.42 million) will be allocated to Cananea and MX$50 million (US$2.49 million) to Nacozari to provide clean water. Durazo highlighted that the decision was made following a meeting with Xavier García, Executive Vice President, Grupo México. The investment will be carried out for the remainder of 2022 and early 2023.

“The investment will be made with the support of Grupo México to guarantee a sufficient supply of drinking water in these communities. The MX$670 million (US$33.42 million) will allow us to restore the water distribution system and its supply wells, as well as having all the equipment to make the water drinkable and upgrade distribution network,” said Durazo, who also emphasized that despite being constantly accused of being an irresponsible mining company, Grupo México has demonstrated its social and environmental commitment.

In addition, Durazo invited other mining companies that operate in Sonora to follow the example of Grupo México and change their tax residence to the state. Following Grupo México’s switch, Sonora will now have an additional MX$200 million (US$9.98 million) to spend. Durazo stressed that 40 percent of the new resources will go to social and urban improvements in Cananea, 30 percent to Nacozari and another 30 percent to combat extreme poverty across the state.

Previously, Grupo México had been accused of seriously damaging the environment and the health of Sonora’s inhabitants. On Aug. 6, 2014, the company’s Buenavista del Cobre mine reported a spill that spread 40,000m3 of acidified copper sulfate to the Bacanuchi and Sonora rivers, affecting 22,000 people in seven municipalities, which could no longer access drinkable water. Many essential activities such as agriculture, livestock, mining, tourism and handcraft were severely affected, while others ceased to exist entirely.

Consquently, Grupo México created a US$106 million fund to remedy the environmental and health damages caused by the spill. However, the fund closed after less than 1 percent of the total amount had been used and no tangible changes were achieved, as El Informador reported. Grupo México argued that its Buenavista mine has been a driver of development for Cananea. It has also reaffirmed its commitment to the wellbeing of communities and the environment.

Photo by:   mrjn Photography

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