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No to the Cerro del Gallo Mining Project in the Cradle of Independence

Source: 
Hermandad de la Cuenca de la Independencia, Accion Colectiva Socioambiental S.A, Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Mineria (REMA)

(Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Mexico) The Canadian company Argonaut Gold intends to exploit its Cerro del Gallo project in the immediate vicinity of the Cradle of Independence. If realized, the project would encompass a total area of more than 20,000 hectares (494,210 acres) and the extracted minerals would be benefited with sodium cyanide by means of the heap leach technique that usually causes serious damage to the health of the nearby populations as well as the use and contamination of large amounts of water.

In the context of overexploitation, depletion and geological pollution of the "Aquifer of the Independencia", the hoarding of large volumes of underground water concessions by companiesand the acute shortage for the inhabitants of rural communities, the canadian mining company Argonaut Gold intends to start operations of its Cerro del Gallo project, located in the territory of the community of San Antón de las Minas, a few kilometres south of the city of Dolores Hidalgo.

The Project is located within the Cuenca de la Independencia, a territory so named because it forms part of a single subterranean Aquifer, as has been demonstrated by studies carried out since 1998 by the Centre of Geosciences of the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico), although the Guanajuato state Water Commission does not recognize like this. This aquifer covers the territory of seven municipalities in the north of Guanajuato, from San Felipe, Dolores Hidalgo, San Diego de la Unión, San Luis de la Paz, Doctor Mora, San José Iturbide and San Miguel de Allende. The overexploitation of the aquifer is so serious that water is being taken beyond the limits of sustainable extraction; this is verified with the wells that exist in the region that reach between 400 and 700 metres deep. The water extracted at those depths contains an excess of chemical elements such as arsenic and fluoride, which are highly harmful to the health of the entire population.

If the Cerro del Gallo mining project begins to operate, the risks for the inhabitants would multiplied exponentially as it would immediately generate serious effects on the ecological balance of the area, as indeed is happening in all open pit mines that are in the national territory, as it has happened every time; in addition to the extraction of large quantities of water, which is already insufficient for human consumption and activities of the peasant families, would wipe out a complete hill, as happened with the emblematic Cerro de San Pedro, in San Luis Potosí, leaving in its place a huge crater. In addition, the process of cyanidation of the enormous amounts of material extracted, with the purpose of separating minerals, would generate very serious effects of pollution affecting all types of life.

For these reasons, the inhabitants of the communities near the Cerro del Gallo project have expressed their absolute rejection to the mining of Argonaut Gold, since it would lead to the violation of their human rights, the involuntary displacement of many inhabitants, negatively impact their economy, and compromise the quality of life of the families in the present and in the future. Given this conviction, the communities themselves demand that the municipal government of Dolores Hidalgo not grant any type of permits and/or authorizations to the Argonaut Gold company for its Cerro del Gallo project.

Attentively,

Communities Opposed to the Cerro del Gallo Mining Project Santa Barbara | Cerrito de Guadalupe | La Colmena | El Durazno| Palacio de Abajo | El Potrero de Guadalupe | San José de la Campana | San José de la Palma | El Llanito | La Ventillla | San Isidro el Sisote | San Marcos | Purisima de Cebolletas | Cabaña de San Jerónimo | La Tinaja

Hermandad de la Cuenca de la Independencia Acción Colectiva Socioambiental, A.C.

Red Mexicana de Afectadas/os por la Minería