A protest action took place in Vancouver the same day Almaden Minerals announced the completion of a social impact assessment for its Ixtaca project, located in Mexico’s Ixtacamaxtitlán municipality in the eastern-central Puebla state.
The evaluation of Almaden’s gold-silver project was carried out by GMI Consulting and, according to a press release issued by the miner, it concluded that Almaden had consulted widely with the focus area communities, that the Ixtaca project was well understood, and that the SIA itself was successful in providing people with an opportunity to express their views on the impacts of the mine.
As this media statement was published, four community leaders from the Ixtacamaxtitlán Municipality led a rally near the company’s headquarters in Vancouver. Ignacia Serrano, Alejandro Marreros, Francisca Zamora, and Ignacio Carmona, accompanied by the Latin American not-for-profit organization PODER, protested against what they call “irregular operations” by Almaden Minerals in Mexico.
For about a week, the activists have been touring different Canadian cities and holding meetings to share their views on the Ixtaca mine with government officials and politicians from Global Affairs, International Trade, and parliamentary committees, as well as mining investors, trade unions, indigenous communities, and the press.
“We ask investors to stop investing in Almaden Minerals’ mining project because their money is at risk. The company has lied by not telling them about our resistance to the project, the legal actions that we have taken to defend our communities, and the securities complaints we’ve filed before the U.S. and British Columbia securities commissions,” Serrano said at the Vancouver protest.
This delegation also shared findings from a community-led Human Rights Impact Assessment, which was developed over the course of 20 months and outlines what they described as “the devastation and threats to the region’s water supply, ecosystem, and residents’ health should the Ixtaca Project move forward.” Serrano and her colleagues also say that the Canadian miner is violating legal and regulatory frameworks.
In the report, the Mexican community leaders reject the fact that Knight Piésold Engineering was in charge of conducting the preliminary economic and environmental impact assessments for Ixtaca, taking into account that the company’s track record includes its evaluation of mines that have had major leaks, such as Mount Polley in Canada and Yanacocha in Peru.