Canada and Mexico

Fortuna Silver's Mexico mine operating despite licensing concerns

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, January 19, 2023
Fortuna Silver's Mexico mine operating despite licensing concerns

The San José mine in Mexico’s Oaxaca state is operating normally, said Fortuna Silver unit Minera Cuzcatlán in response to comments from environment ministry Semarnat.

Earlier this month, Semarnat informed Minera Cuzatlán that it will reevaluate the environmental impact statement (EIS), approved in December 2021.

In a statement, Minera Cuzatlán said the procedures don’t affect the mine’s daily operations and that Fortuna Silver “is taking legal measures to protect its over 1,200 employees, a value chain made up of more than 600 companies, 150 of them from the area, as well as annual income above 600mn pesos [US$32mn] that benefits over 30,000 people in the central valleys of Oaxaca.”

It added that the operations were inspected 15 times during the last 11 years by several environmental authorities and water authority Conagua and none have found any fault.

On January 5, Fortuna Silver said San José complies with all environmental laws, and expressed concern about moves to reassess the 12-year EIS extension, which was confirmed by a federal court in November with a ruling against Semarnat.

Minera Cuzcatlán, meanwhile, vowed to “work with neighboring communities to improve and expand the social benefits of its operation, through sustainable development initiatives.”

The San José underground gold and silver mine started commercial operations in September 2011. In 2013, the company acquired a 55% interest in the Taviche Oeste concessions from a local subsidiary of Canada's Pan American Silver.

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