PBI-Mexico accompanied Educa Oaxaca highlights “express public consultation” for Vancouver-based mining company application

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: The entrance to the mine in the village of San José del Progreso. Photo by Marie-France Abastado/ Radio-Canada

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, began production in September 2011, and now needs this permit to continue its operations beyond 2021.

Community members have highlighted that the mine was established without their free, prior and informed consent.

Educa Oaxaca has noted: “The No to Mining for a Future of All Front [says] ‘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.”

Now, on December 7, Educa Oaxaca further notes: “SEMARNAT [has] organized an express public consultation of the San José II project, [published] on 13 November, giving as the maximum date to receive comments on 23 November, i.e., only 10 days.”

The proposed San José II mine would reportedly be a 7,000-hectare expansion of the existing 700-hectare mine.

The Oaxacan Collective in Defence of the Territories comments: “These deadlines are limited, especially when we are in a period of health contingency, so such action violates our rights to public information and citizen participation.”

Their statement also notes: “The information presented by Minera Cuzcatlán [the Mexican subsidiary of Fortuna Silver] in the Manifestation of Environmental Impact Regional Modality San José II contains false information, since it does not declare the cumulative, synergistic and residual impacts for 10 more years of silver and gold exploitation in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca.”

As such, the Non-Mining Front for a Future of All has called on SEMARNAT to deny the authorization of the Manifestation of Environmental Impact for the mine.

PBI-Mexico has accompanied Educa Oaxaca since May 2013 and we continue to closely follow the situation in San José del Progreso.

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