The Supreme Court of Justice has officially notified the Mexican Ministry of Economy (Economia) of its April decision declaring “ineffective” the securities of Almaden Minerals listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the NYSE in the United States regarding the project Ixtaca. However, applications for mining titles were filed in accordance with the legislation.
Almaden says he understands that means the mining title has reverted to application status until Economia completes its court-ordered indigenous consultation in the area covered by the mining title applications.
“With the completion of this court case, the ball is now in Economia’s court to fulfill all requirements and reissue mining titles quickly and efficiently. Although it is the government’s responsibility to correct its procedures for issuing mining titles, Almaden is ready to cooperate in any way possible,” said the president. Duan Poliquin.
The Supreme Court’s final decision provides details to Mexican authorities regarding the procedures to be followed by those authorities when consulting with indigenous people before granting mining concessions. The decision also clarifies that unless there is a significant impact on the rights of an indigenous community caused by the granting of the mining title, such as relocation or something similar, the issuance of the title does not depend not with the consent of the indigenous community in question.
Almaden notes that it has no interest in holding mining concessions on the lands of the indigenous community that initiated this lawsuit.
Almaden’s mining concessions have been the basis of a lawsuit against the Mexican government claiming that the country’s mining law is unconstitutional. In 2019, a lower court in the state of Puebla, where Almaden’s Ixtaca gold/silver project is located, determined that Mexico’s mining law was unconstitutional because it did not include provisions requiring consultation with indigenous communities before grant of a mining title.
The Ixtaca deposit, discovered by Almaden in 2010, contains a proven and probable reserve containing 1.38 million ounces of gold and 85.1 million ounces of silver (73.1 million tonnes grading 0.59 g /t of gold and 36.3 g/t of silver).
According to a 2018 feasibility study, the Ixtaca open pit mine will produce 108,500 oz/yr of gold and 7.06 million oz of silver per year in the first six years. The study had an after-tax net present value of $310 million, with a discount of 5%, an after-tax internal rate of return of 42%, and a payback period of 1.9 years.