Dolores Hidalgo.- The Canadian company Argonaut Gold intends to exploit the Cerro del gallo to extract gold, silver and copper, communities of the Cuenca Independencia are opposed for the serious damage to both the environment and the health of the people who inhabit the region and consume water from the aquifer that covers 7 municipalities.
The Cerro del Gallo mine is in an advanced exploration phase, it has gold, silver and copper deposits which are to be extracted under the heap leach technique.
The Cerro del Gallo deposit is located within the San Antón de las Minas property, which covers an area of 20,270.17 hectares and consists of 13 contiguous mineral concessions. The concessions include historic mining areas formerly exploited by high grade gold and silver veins.
In May 2012, the previous owners of the Cerro del Gallo Project carried out what they called a Definitive Feasibility Study (EFD). As result of that study, an initial stack leaching operation of 7.2 years was undertaken, which could produce an average of 95,000 equivalent ounces of gold at an estimated cash cost of $ 700 / ounce.
In November 2017 the mine was acquired for an amount of 15 million dollars by the company Argonaut Gold.
Argonaut Gold is a Canadian gold company dedicated to mining exploration, development and production activities. Its main assets are linked to the production of the El Castillo and San Agustín mines, which together form the El Castillo Complex in Durango, Mexico, and the production phase of the La Colorada mine in Sonora, Mexico.
LEACHING TECHNIQUE IN PILES
Metals such as gold are extracted from their minerals through a process known as heap leaching through the use of cyanide or ozone, which is harmful to the environment because hazardous pollutants can seep out of the soil and directly penetrate the drinking water supply of the region.
This technique is applied in approximately 120 mines around the world, due to its low cost of capital compared to other methods.
Local residents claim the mining activity does not bring development for the community, basically because the mining San Xavier only generates 246 jobs and many of the jobs are occupied by people who are not from the region.
The communities live worse than before because now they have to face diseases of the lung, liver and diabetes among others, as a result of the hazardous metals, such as arsenic, lead or cadmium are released to the envorinment when mining companies dynamite the mountains, and thousands of residents of the Valley of San Luis Potosí, have been affected by this situation.
The water consumed by Minera San Xavier during its processes would be enough to provide 300 thousand people with one hundred liters per day.
Not to mention that the wells near Cerro de San Pedro contain traces of cyanide.
After several years of exploitation, the company left two mountains, one loaded with sodium cyanide and the other with stacks of ground rocks (better known as jales).