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NEWS: Veracruz governor rejects Caballo Blanco mine in Mexico

La Jornada Veracruz reports (in Spanish), “The Veracruz state government formally expressed its opposition to the installation of the Caballo Blanco mine by Goldgroup company, considering that it is a viable project and that is incompatible with the environmental characteristics of the area where intends to operate, and was announced by Governor Javier Duarte de Ochoa, during the environmental day held in Boca del Rio and other parts of the body, adding that the mining project is considered dangerous and polluting the area. …The head of state also said his government has been very mindful of the process leading the project of the open pit mine to the federal authorities, who by law is empowered to issue operating permits for these businesses.”

“(The governor) noted that in Vera Cruz are backed investments and projects that are aimed at sustainability, which, besides generating welfare for citizens, must ensure protection to the environment and preserve ecosystems. Duarte de Ochoa said the state government has also been very attentive to the views and positions on this subject have been issued academia, experts, NGOs, environmentalists, and citizens in general, ‘who in their whole have asked my administration to interact with federal, in order to guarantee the right of Veracruz to enjoy a healthy and safe environment,’ he said.”

As we noted in a campaign blog just days ago, according to the Vancouver-based mining company Goldgroup’s website, “Caballo Blanco, Goldgroup’s 100%-owned advanced stage flagship gold project, is located 65km northwest of Veracruz, Mexico’s largest port city. The project consists of two large areas of epithermal gold mineralization: Northern Zone, where the main La Paila Zone is located, and the Highway Zone. In 2011, Goldgroup completed a 30,000 metre drill program on the La Paila Zone. In February 2012, the Company announced an updated NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate on the La Paila Zone.”

Lavida (la Asamblea Veracruzana de Iniciativas y Defensa Ambiental/ the Assembly Veracruzana and Environmental Defense Initiative) and numerous other groups including REMA (Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Minería/ Mexican Network of Communities Affected by Mining) and RMALC (Red Mexicana de Acción frente al Libre Comercio/ Mexican Action Network on Free Trade) oppose the open pit mine.

The Diario de Xalapa (Journal of Xalapa) reports, “Among the issues that have come forward is that the mine will require 3000 meters of water a day, which means that consumption will require 1.12 million cubic meters of water per year.” Along with concerns about the amount of water the mine would require, there are also concerns about how the highly toxic wastewater from the mine would be discharged. There are also concerns about the proximity of the mine to the Laguna Verde Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear power plant in Mexico. The nuclear plant is located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Alto Lucero, Veracruz, Mexico.

On February 22, Mexico City-based Blue Planet Project organizer Claudia Campero Arena particpated at a protest outside the Canadian embassy in Mexico City demanding the cancellation of the Caballo Blanco project. There was a protest at the same time in Xalapa against the mine. To read her Tweets (in Spanish) from the protest, please see https://twitter.com/#!/claucampero.