Mexico's Supreme Court confirms cancellation of concessions to Almaden Minerals mining company

Mexico, MEXICO

MEXICO CITY, June 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mexican Supreme Court (SCJN, for its acronym in Spanish) confirmed it’s ruling against Almaden Minerals Ltd (AAU in a case brought by the Nahua Community and the Ejido of Tecoltemi against the company’s mining concessions and the national Mining Law. The Court determined that the right to consultation and consent of the Nahua community was violated in the issuance of the two challenged mining concessions, according to an official statement from the SCJN.

In accordance with the ruling, the Ejido of Tecoltemi was granted an injunction and the mining concessions were canceled. Early this month, SJCN released the jurisprudence derived from the case, that is the mandatory legal criteria for the jurisdictional authorities of the federation and of the federal entities. According to the SCJN, the ruling must be applied in the resolution of cases as of June 6, 2022. The court reaffirmed that indigenous consultation must be carried out prior to the issuance of mining concessions.

Tecoltemi and the Union of Communities and Ejidos in Defense of Land, Water and Life as well as Fundar and the Tiyat Tlali Council - two civil society organizations who accompany them in their legal defense - said in a statement that these criteria are of great relevance because, by constituting jurisprudence, and therefore mandatory in nature, they reinforce the rights of indigenous peoples and communities.

Previously, the SCOs said in another statement that the Court's decision is a great achievement as this is the first time that the SCJN acknowledges the violation of the right to consultation and consent in the case of mining concessions, and thereby orders their cancellation because of that violation.

The cancellation of mining concessions also sends a clear message to investors that they should not put their money into projects that violate and infringe on the human rights of communities. Moreover, such projects often carry serious material risks for investors, if they are legally and environmentally unsustainable.

The cancellation of Almaden's mining concessions comes just over a year after the Mexican Ministry of the Environment rejected the Environmental Impact Assessment submitted by the Canadian firm for the development of this project.

PODER is a regional corporate accountability and human rights NGO that has accompanied the affected communities for many years.