MAC: Mines and Communities

Local Landowners of the Ejido Carrizalillo shut down Goldcorp's Los Filos mine

Published by MAC on 2014-04-03
Source: Statements, Mining.com (2014-04-03)

On 31st March 2014, local landowners who are members of the Ejido Carrizalillo in the municipality of Eduardo Neri, Guerrero, Mexico issued a communiqué stating that they will shut down Goldcorp's Los Filos mine following a breakdown in negotiations with the company over their land rental contract.

They have called on the company's VP of Operations in Mexico to replace local directors in the negotiations, and request that the national and international community to be on alert for any acts of intimidation, eviction or repression that might occur as a result.

Goldcorp meanwhile have suspended operations at the mine in response.

An urgent action has been on this issue by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL). You can automatically send a message in English at: http://action.ciel.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=13685 

"I meant to do that" ... Local community shuts down Goldcorp's Los Filos mine in Mexico; company claims it was suspended on purpose

MiningWatch Canada

3 April 2014

Goldcorp's announcement Wednesday that it suspended operations at its Los Filos mine is a belated and misleading admission.

It is true that work at the mine in Guerrero, Mexico stopped - early Tuesday morning - after Goldcorp failed to reach agreement with the local community, the Ejido Carrizalillo*, with whom it had a land use contract.

But the mine did not stop on the company's volition.

Rather, after talks broke down Monday night, the Ejido Carrizalillo announced an indefinite strike outside the mine starting early Tuesday until the company seriously addresses their concerns.

They stated that they would "suspend mine operations until the company demonstrates greater disposition to negotiate or - failing that - demand that it begin to close the mine according to Mexican law to reduce the environmental and health damages that have occurred." They requested the presence of Mr. Horacio Bruna, Vice President of Goldcorp's Mexican Operations, at the blockade in order to proceed with talks.

The full text of the Ejido's communiqué can be read below.

In the flurry of news that has been coming out of the Mexican press, representatives of the Ejido emphasize concerns they have about the long term environmental and health costs of Goldcorp's highly profitable open-pit gold and silver operation located a mere kilometer from their community.

"After the mine, there will be nothing left," stated Julio Peña Celso a member of the Oversight Committee of the Ejido's Commission to Milenio.com.

The same article cites complaints about water supplies contaminated with arsenic, water shortages, premature births and malformations in newborns. Loss of agricultural land and lack of a closure plan for the mine are also mentioned.

Julio Peña fears his community will become a ghost town.

Goldcorp's response that negotiations are tough given a slump in the gold market and slightly higher taxes in Mexico might be what the company's investors want to hear, but this is not going to get the company any closer to a new contract when the Ejido Carrizalillo is looking for recognition of the longterm health and environmental costs they have to bear well after the company is gone.

*An ejido is a social and territorial unit governed by a General Assembly that administers, regulates, and makes decisions over its territory and natural goods found above the surface. Until the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, it was not possible for ejido land to be parcelled off or sold.


Communiqué of Landowners of the Ejido Carrizalillo

31 March 2014

(original in Spanish)

To the Public:

On March 31st, a last attempt was made to establish a new land use contract between the Ejidatarios of Carrizalilllo in the municipality of Eduardo Neri, state of Guerrero, Mexico and the transnational company Goldcorp through its subsidiary Desarrollos Mineros de San Luis, S.A. de C.V.

As representatives of the Ejido in these negotiations, we proposed an increase in the rental price per hectare 1.5 ounces above the 2.5 ounces that we received last year, in addition to a productivity bonus of 1.8 ounces for each 100,000 ounces produced per year. These figures were projected based on an analysis of the gold market, the annual production of the company - equivalent to 332,000 ounces of gold in 2013-, the millions of dollars in investment that the company has made and the company's intention to continue to occupy these lands until at least 2030. In addition to this, we considered the situation in which the Ejido is living and other problems linked to the recurring lack of compliance with various agreements that the company has with us, the increasing incidence of health and environmental problems, and the lack of a clear disposition on the part of the company to deal with these, such as the lack of clean and adequate water and problems with contaminated water that is currently what we have to make do with.

For its part, the directors of Los Filos mine, - the name of the mining project that Goldcorp operates on our Ejidal lands - is offering a 3.5 ounces of gold at its current value with a commitment to guarantee the current price over 10 years, with an annual increase of 4%. If market conditions improves, the prices will increase according to the market rate.

On average, the company's offer represents sustained benefits of a few thousand pesos (today 1 CDN dollar = 11.81 Mexican pesos) in relation to what was received following the last negotitation. In addition to this, the company wants to rent the lands for 10 years. Given everything that an ongoing relationship with the company implies for this length of time, more than anything we are aware of the extent of the risk that we run when we rent lands to such powerful mining companies.

As representatives of the Ejido in these negotiations we presented a new proposal to continue negotiating, but the company made no effort to consider it. As such, the negotiation was broken which means that we will exercise our rights according to end of the contract, which ends at 11:59pm on March 31. As a result, we will close the workers' access to the mine and suspend mine operations until the company demonstrates greater disposition to negotiate or - failing that - demand that it begin to close the mine according to Mexican law to reduce the environmental and health damages that have occurred.

Given the negative response of the mine's Local Directors and their incapacity to negotiate in a better way, as representatives of the Ejido in these negotiations we have decided to request the presence of Mr. Horacio Bruna, Vice President of Goldcorp's Mexican Operations. We ask that he come as soon as possible to the blockade and directly deal with the Ejido's negotiating team, and avoid augmenting the risk of a rupture in the relationship that has been established between the Ejido and the company in years past.

As an Ejido we request the support of national and international networks in this conflict against the transnational company, which once again demonstrates that its interests are always tied to avoiding any risk to the company's investments, but that - as has been demonstrated in recent years - is insensitive to recognize the initiatives and demands that the population of the Ejido have and that without a doubt don't measure up for the company that only considers market value in its mining operations.

We ask you to be on alert for any acts of intimidation, eviction or repression that might take place as a result of this situation, and thank different groups from across the country for the solidarity and support they have demonstrated.


Community to File Suit for Restoration of Lands as Goldcorp Refuses Dignified Terms at Los Filos Mine

Ejido of Carrizalillo Communiqué

5 April 2014

Guerrero, Mexico

To the Public:

The permanent assembly of the Ejido Carrizalillo, in the municipality of Eduardo Neri, state of Guerrero, México has decided to bring a lawsuit before the federal agricultural tribunal against Desarrollo Mineros San Luis S.A. de C.V., a subsidiary of Goldcorp, to immediately restore ejidal lands and request that the mine closure program start to be implemented [at the Los Filos mine] in accordance with pertinent national and international law.

We are undertaking this measure as a result of the company's refusal to renegotiate our land use contract under more just conditions for the ejido. A win-win for the transnational Canadian firm is impossible to imagine without the ejido having clauses in the contract that respect our territorial rights.

We also take this opportunity to update about the mine stoppage that we maintain and that has continued up until today in a peaceful manner. There has been full collaboration with an emergency brigade in case any interventions are required at the mine site, particularly where there are large quantities of highly dangerous chemicals stored. Vehicles have also been allowed to freely travel along the federal highway that connects Mezcala with Amatitlán. As a result, up until now there have been no mishaps.

We ask once again that you be on alert for any acts of intimidation, reprisal or repression against us on the part of the company or related groups. We will continue to provide updates about this conflict, in which the company has expressed a clear negative to reach a more dignified contract that meets our expectations.

Signed:
Members of the Negotiating Team for the Ejido of Carrizalillo


Goldcorp halts operations at Los Filos mine in Mexico

Cecilia Jamasmie

Mining.com

2 April 2014

Goldcorp halts operations at Los Filos mine in MexicoCanadian gold giant Goldcorp said Wednesday it had to suspend operations at its Los Filos mine in Mexico as it was unable to negotiate the renewal of an occupancy agreement with the Carrizalillo Ejido, a local landowners group.

The Vancouver-based company, at $22.5 billion the world's second most valuable gold miner after Barrick Gold, said certain activities related to environmental safeguards and site security will continue during the suspension.

Los Filos mine directly employs about 2,600 people from the surrounding communities with an estimated 10,000 additional jobs created as a result of the mine's presence in the region.

The operation comprises two open-pit mines - Los Filos and El Bermejal - and one underground mine. The open-pit operation began commercial production in January 2008.

The news come on the same day the company has learned that it is now competing with Yamana Gold over the potential takeover of Quebec-based Osisko Mining.


Urgent Action: Call on Goldcorp to Negotiate in Good Faith with the Ejido Carrizalillo or to Initiate Mine Closure Plan

7 April 2014

Join the Ejido's call for good faith negotiations without repression

Since the morning of Tuesday April 1, the Ejido Carrizalillo in Guerrero, Mexico has blocked operations at Goldcorp's Los Filos mine in revindication of their territorial rights following expiration of the company's land use contract with the community and its failure to negotiate a new one on time.

In their statement announcing the mine shut down, the Ejido's negotiating team stated that they would "suspend mine operations until the company demonstrates greater disposition to negotiate or - failing that - demand that it begin to close the mine according to Mexican law to reduce the environmental and health damages that have occurred." They requested the presence of Mr. Horacio Bruna, Vice President of Goldcorp's Mexican Operations, at the blockade in order to proceed with talks.

In the flurry of news that has been coming out of the Mexican press, representatives of the Ejido emphasize concerns they have about the long term environmental and health costs of Goldcorp's highly profitable open-pit gold and silver operation located a mere kilometre from their community.

On Friday April 4th, the Ejido issued another statement indicating that they were filing a lawsuit for restoration of their lands as a result of the company's continuing refusal to renegotiate a new land use contract under more just conditions for the ejido.

They also called for national and international supporters to be on alert for any acts of intimidation, reprisal or repression against them on the part of the company or related groups.
Please show your support for the Ejido Carrizalillo and call on Goldcorp to expedite good faith negotiations, without repression, intimidation or other provocations that could lead to violence, toward a new land use contract that respects the Ejido's territorial rights.

Use this online action to send your message automatically or send your own message or comment to:
Brent Bergeron, Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Goldcorp
brent.bergeron(at)goldcorp.com

Anna M. Tudela, Vice President for Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Secretary, Goldcorp
atudela(at)goldcorp.com

Jeff Wilhoit, Investor Inquiries
info(at)goldcorp.com

--

Sample Letter

To Goldcorp Management:

Since April 1, 2014, the residents of the Ejido Carrizalillo in Guerrero, Mexico have been exercising their territorial rights and taking back their lands given your company's failure to negotiate a new contract with more dignified conditions for the community. It is the local population and not Goldcorp that has stopped work at the Los Filos mine, given that the company no longer has a land use contract for the coming year with the ejido.

Goldcorp should expedite good faith negotiations toward a new contract with the Ejido Carrizalillo that respects the human rights and land rights of the owners of more that 1,000 hectares that the company rents. The contract should ensure better conditions for workers and public health, as well as take responsibility for the serious damages that the project has already generated in the health of the local population, their lands and the environment.

We demand that at no point in this process that repression, intimidation, provocation of community divisions, or any other type of retribution or violence be used by the company or related groups against the population of Carrizalillo, respecting that they are exercising their rights in accordance with Mexican law.

If the company is not willing to fulfill its responsibility, or does not desire a new contract, it should immediately ensure and guarantee the return of ejidal lands. It should also make its closure and post closure plan for the Los Filos mine public. This plan should include all the relevent technical and financial aspects, including water management and monitoring for acid mine drainage, measures to protect public health, especially for people already suffering from diverse illnesses; measures to protect the environment and soils; the withdrawal of equipment and adequate management of toxic wastes; and an independently guaranteed financial surety to cover the full costs of this process with independent verification mechanisms.

Attentively,

Include a copy of your letter to:
Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird
john.baird(at)parl.gc.ca

Canadian Ambassador to Mexico Sara Hradecky
sara.hradecky(at)international.gc.ca

The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board
contact(at)cppib.com

General Secretary for the Government of Guerrero
secretariageneral(at)guerrero.gob.mx

Mexican Agrarian Attorney's Office
pagraria(at)pa.gob.mx

SEDATU: Secretary for Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development
jcramirez(at)sedatu.gob.mx

Secretary of the Economy of Mexico
ildefonso.guajardo(at)economia.gob.mx

SEMARNAT: Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico
c.secretario(at)semarnat.gob.mx

 

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