Water leaving Excellon's mine is damaging community land, reveals a study by academics at the Department of Chemistry of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
MEXICO CITY, Oct. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ejido La Sierrita has presented a complaint to the Federal Prosecutor of Environmental Protection against Canadian mining company Excellon Resources Inc. The company operates the La Platosa mine in Mapimí, Durango, Mexico.
Under Mexico's environmental laws, Excellon must comply with the standards set out in its Environmental Impact Statement (EIA) regarding the La Platosa facility approved on July 6, 2004 by the government. The EIA was approved under the condition that Excellon develop a program to treat both solids and liquids leaving the mine, which the complaint alleges has not been done.
The complaint also underlines Excellon's failure to comply with Article 88"Bis" of the National Water Law requiring mining companies to treat water before it returns to the land. The company has refused to construct a water treatment plant since 2007 for water that it is pumping out of the mine operations despite the fact that both its land contract with the Ejido and the law requires such treatment. The company's refusal to treat water as required by its land contract is also at the root of the Ejido's recent lawsuit to rescind the contract with the company.
Finally, the complaint shows that Excellon's irresponsible management of water, approved by the La Platosa general manager, Pablo Gurrola, has damaged the native vegetation and animal habitat in the Ejido and in the lands of several other landowners in the region. In fact, several other property owners have filed complaints against Excellon in recent months for the same reason.
Alejandra Ancheita, Executive Director of the Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales (ProDESC), advisor to the Ejido, stated, "The acts and omissions of Excellon violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1803 (XVII), the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man which all recognize the right to autonomy of communities to their lands and natural resources."
David Espinoza, president of the Board of Directors of the Ejido, said, "La Sierrita is asking that the government apply necessary sanctions and close the mine based on the environmental damage that it has inflicted on our lands for the last several years. Excellon de México S. A. de C. V. signed a land contract with us in 2008, in which it promised to allow the Ejido to manage the use of water from the mine. But that promise was conditional on the construction of a water treatment plant."
-- PRODESC A.C. Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales, A.C. trabaja sobre la defensa, investigación y capacitación en derechos humanos a nivel local. www.prodesc.org.mx 55122230
SOURCE: Project on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ProDESC)
For further information:
Alejandra Ancheita, ProDESC (Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales), Tel. 55-5212-2230, 55-5212-2229, 55-3334-6045, firstname.lastname@example.org.