Mexico’s federal permitting authority, SEMARNAT, has rejected the environmental permit application (MIA) for Almaden Minerals’ (TSX: AMM) Ixtaca gold-silver deposit, one of the country’s significant precious metal discoveries.
The company received notification from SEMARNAT on Dec. 21. Almaden originally submitted the MIA in early 2019.
Reasons cited for not approving the MIA, in the company’s view, include insufficient information regarding the impact of open-pit mining on the local environment.
In a statement, Almaden said SEMARNAT appears to have discounted the company’s prevention, mitigation and compensation measures, which were part of the MIA application.
The company also said it is continuing its review of SEMARNAT’s response to the MIA and is evaluating alternatives, which include submission of a revised MIA, continuing dialogue and legal options.
Almaden discovered the Ixtaca deposit in 2010 after nine years of exploring the area.
The project is located 120 km southeast of the Pachuca mine, one of Mexico’s largest gold and silver deposits, with historic production of 1.4 billion ounces of silver and 7 million ounces of gold.
A 2018 feasibility study envisioned Ixtaca as a conventional open pit mine with average annual production of 108,500 ounces gold and 7.06 million ounces silver over the first six years.
“We will review the reasons provided and the factors that may have led to this decision and determine a path to move this project forward,” Almaden CEO Morgan Poliquin stated in a press release. “We believe that since discovery we have outlined a resource and ultimately a mineral project that is highly economic, robust and reflective of the ideal that successful mining projects can and should make a significant positive difference for local communities over the short, medium and long term.”
This article first appeared in MINING.com, part of Glacier Resource Innovation Group.