Mexico’s environmental authority, Semarnat, has suspended the permitting process for Almaden Minerals’ (TSX: AMM; NYSE: AAU) Ixtaca gold-silver project in the state of Puebla, pending the resolution of a lawsuit that challenges the country’s mineral title system.
The lawsuit, filed by the Tecoltemi community of about 150 people in Puebla state, contends that the granting of mineral titles without prior indigenous consultation is unconstitutional and a violation of human rights as set out under the International Labour Organization’s Convention 169.
In April, a lower court in the state ruled that Mexico’s mineral title system is unconstitutional and as a result, the original mineral claims that had been granted to Almaden should be suspended while the necessary consultation is completed.
The court’s decision is currently being appealed by the Mexican Congress, the Senate, the Secretary of Economy and Mining authorities. and the company as an affected third party to the lawsuit.
Morgan Poliquin, Almaden’s president and CEO, says the claims the company currently owns have nothing to do with the Tecoltemi community.
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