PBI-Guatemala highlights intervention by US Embassy in support of controversial Canadian Cerro Blanco mine

Published by Brent Patterson on

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PBI-Guatemala has posted on Facebook:

“The US Embassy advocated for the mining company and the Cerro Blanco project, while environmental groups and settlers of Jutiapa have on several occasions expressed concern because the reactivation of the project is a risk to the environment, water and health of the communities villages in Guatemala and El Salvador.”

They link to this Prensa Comunitaria article that reports:

In 2007, the company Entremares S.A. obtained permission to operate thanks to an environmental impact study with inconsistencies and information gaps.

[After the mine’s tunnels repeatedly flooded], the company applied for a two-year permit to suspend its operations. After this time, if it did not start operating, it had to be cancelled and closed, according to the Mining Law.

Soon after, the company Entremares partnered with the mining company [Vancouver-based] Goldcorp, but by 2013, it sold its shares because the project continued to flood. The shares were bought by [Vancouver-based] Bluestone Resources.

By December 2021, Bluestone Resources plans to submit to the MEM [Ministry of Energy and Mines] a proposal to reactivate the mine using an update to the same environmental impact study they submitted 14 years ago, but with an obvious change. The mine would no longer be underground but open-pit.

On September 18, 2022, organizations and the population of Asunción Mita held a Municipal Consultation [and] 7,481 people voted NO to mining, while 904 voted YES, the result of the Municipal Consultation of neighbors is directly binding.

In 2023, the U.S. Embassy accredited in Guatemala advocated with the government of Alejandro Giammattei in favor of the reactivation of the Cerro Blanco mining project located in the municipality of Asunción Mita, Jutiapa.

The U.S. diplomatic mission asked for ‘support to learn about the progress that has been made in the process of approving the modification of the environmental plan in order to continue assisting U.S. investors who are interested in investing and contributing to the economic development of Guatemala.’

Just five days before the end of Giammattei’s government, on January 9 [2024], the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources approved the mining company to modify the environmental instrument, Bluestone issued a statement in which it announced that it would begin the exploitation of gold and silver.

The full article can be read at Estados Unidos intercedió a favor de la mina Cerro Blanco (Prensa Comunitaria, March 4, 2024).

Furthermore, the Extractive Industries Observatory (OIE) has tweeted:

We want to revisit a key conversation about the Lundin family and their power in the global extractive industry. In 2020 we explored his controversial career behind Bluestone Resources and the Cerro Blanco project. But today, there are new updates that you need to know about.

There is a lot of talk about the Cerro Blanco mining project and the Canadian company that operates it, Bluestone Resources $BSR , but we have rarely mentioned the history behind the latter and the people who manage it: the Lundins. This is the controversial trajectory of this family:

That thread can be read here.

Lundin Group website.

Lundin Group website.

We continue to follow this.

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