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article imageMexico warns Canadian mining companies of increased scrutiny

By Karen Graham     Mar 19, 2019 in World
Canadian mining companies operating in Mexico should be on notice that the sector is going to face increased scrutiny on its environmental practices and treatment of Indigenous people, according to the country’s new ambassador to Ottawa.
Mexico's new ambassador to Canada, Juan Jose Gomez Camacho was appointed on March 14, and one of the very first items on his agenda was to send Canadian mining companies a friendly warning, reports the Globe and Mail.
“President [Andres Manuel] Lopez Obrador has been very public about this, that we really want a strong, profitable mining sector - and Canadian mining companies are large investors in Mexico - but we expect them to operate in this country with exactly the same standards as they do in Canad," said the ambassador in an interview at the foreign affairs ministry in the Mexican capital.
Speaking at the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, Gómez said that enforcement of Mexico’s existing laws will be increased under the current federal government which has recently passed its first 100 days.
“One area that is very important to us, in the case of the mining industry, is that we see a stronger, more robust impact on the socio-economic development of the communities where the mines are,” he said, according to Mexico News Daily.
According to Global Affairs Canada, in 2015, Canadian firms held assets in Mexico totaling nearly US$20-billion. But their presence hasn't been without its problems.
Indigenous residents of the Pueblo municipality of Ixtacamaxtitlán are pursuing legal action against a mining subsidiary of Canada’s Almaden Minerals. Their lawsuit alleges that local water sources have been contaminated by exploration activity on gold and silver deposits.
Echoing Lopez Obrador's message of improving the welfare of Mexico’s poor and fighting the rampant corruption across the country, Gomez said, “One area that is very important to us, in the case of the mining industry, is that we see a stronger, more robust impact on the socio-economic development of the communities where the mines are."
Almaden has employed over 70 local people who work with Almaden in the company s ongoing exploration...
Almaden has employed over 70 local people who work with Almaden in the company's ongoing exploration program.
Almaden Minerals
This means strengthening the rule of law, said Gomez, and this means “increasing the role of the state in making sure that the standards of operation in Mexico from foreign companies in this or any other sector are sustainable. ... But it’s also self-discipline, it’s a question of companies’ values on how they operate."
This was reiterated by President Lopez Obrador on Monday during his weekly news conference, reports Reuters. He said Mexico will not revoke concessions for mining companies, but called on Canadian firms to adhere to the same standards that they follow in their home country.
About Almaden Minerals
Almaden Minerals Ltd. owns 100 percent of the Tuligtic project in Puebla State, Mexico. Tuligtic covers the Ixtaca Gold-Silver Deposit, which was discovered by Almaden in 2010. n May 2017, Almaden filed a Preliminary Feasibility Study (PFS) of the Ixtaca deposit, which estimates an economically robust project generating an after-tax IRR of 41 percent using US$1250 per ounce Gold and US$18 per ounce Silver prices.
Almaden Minerals has also been active in the community, helping with local construction and improvement projects including work on a school, public bathrooms, a community hall, a local church and a hospital. They have also invested in ongoing employee training programs for local people.
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