PBI-Mexico accompanied Educa Oaxaca notes concerns about Fortuna Silver seeking 10-year extension on mine

Published by Brent Patterson on

There are continued concerns about Vancouver-based Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. seeking a 10-year extension for its San José Mine situated near the Zapotec village of San José del Progreso in the state of Oaxaca in south-western Mexico.

This mine was first developed in 2009, shifted into production in September 2011, and now the company needs this permit to continue its operations beyond 2021.

On October 27, Educa Oaxaca noted: “In a press conference, the No to Mining for a Future of All Front denounced ‘the exploitation of gold and silver for 10 more years would generate irreversible contamination in territories of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca’ and demands that the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) deny a new environmental permit for the mine.”

“On September 3, 2020, a new Environmental Impact Statement (MIA) was published in the Official Gazette of SEMARNAT for the exploitation of silver and gold in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca. In this document, the mining company Cuzcatlán SA de CV, a subsidiary of the Canadian Fortuna Silver Mines, intends to justify 75 works that have been built without authorization from the environmental authorities and to extend the period of silver and gold exploitation for another ten years, anticipating its end in 2031.”

“Faced with this situation, the Front, made up of some twelve communities in the region, issued a letter to SEMARNAT to demand the denial of said MIA.”

“‘Ten more years of mining exploitation would represent a serious threat to the environment of the region and therefore, a systematic violation of our territorial rights’, warn representatives of the Front and authorities of Magdalena Ocotlán, who also denounced the contamination of their sources of water with heavy metals.“

The Educa Oaxaca post adds: “On September 9, the president of the republic, Andrés Manuel López Obrador argued in a press conference that the situation of Magdalena Ocotlán had been addressed, however ‘so far no instance of the federal government has approached the community to resolve this problematic’, denounces the Front.”

In October 2018, residents of the town of Magdalena Ocotlán stated that heavy rains resulted in mine waste overflowing into the Coyote River leaving behind contaminated mud in the vicinity of the community’s drinking wells.

And in July 2020, concerns were raised for a second time that the mine had polluted local water sources, this time a rainwater catchment well in Magdalena Ocotlán.

PBI-Mexico first began accompanying Educa Oaxaca in 2001.

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