• The company seeks to render invisible affected indigenous communities.

MEXICO CITY, March 26, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  Five days ago, Vancouver B.C.-based Almaden Minerals Ltd. published a press release (“Almaden Updates Feasibility Study at Ixtaca”) in which the company omits material information about the Ixtaca Project located in Puebla, Mexico.

1. Water consumption: Almaden Minerals states it will collect and store enough rainwater to supply the nearby population and mine; however, according to a community-led impact assessment elaborated together with civil society organizations, rainwater will be insufficient for the mine’s operations considering the low-to-medium rainfall in the municipality of only 500-600 mm annually, according to the Ixtacamaxtitlán Meteorological Station.

Mining requires a gigantic volume of water. One example is the Caballo Blanco mine in Veracruz, which produced 30,000 tons of material (a rate equal to that projected for the Ixtaca Project) and annually consumed 3,000 cubic meters of water. This means that the approximate annual use for Ixtacamaxtitlán would be 1,195,000 cubic meters, only for the mining activity zone.

2. Social investment plan (SIP): Almaden states that its subcontractor, GMI Consultants, will hold meetings with local communities to inform them of its SIP, but fails to mention that the Ixtaca Project has already been rejected by the communities and ejidos of the region, which, since 2014, have denounced existing violations of environmental regulations and human rights violations committed by Almaden during the exploration stage. Communities have taken regulatory and legal action so that local and federal authorities not grant the necessary permits for the extraction phase of the mine, including the environmental impact assessment.

3. Indigenous population: Additionally, GMI Consultants has sought to render invisible the indigenous population of the area, stating that it "did not identify indigenous communities or people that speak native languages within the area of influence of the project." This contradicts official information and that presented by Almaden to Mexico’s environmental regulator, SEMARNAT, in February 2017, where it mentions that “11.82% of the population of the inhabitants of the municipality speak an indigenous language, mainly Nahuatl.”

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PODER is a regional not-for-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to improving corporate transparency and accountability in Latin America from a human rights perspective and strengthening civil society stakeholders of corporations as long-term accountability guarantors. www.projectpoder.org

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