MICLA

McGill Research Group Investigating
Canadian Mining in Latin America

Ocampo Project, Mexico

Key Data

Company:Aurico Gold, previously Gammon Gold Operational status:production Materials extracted:silver, gold Type of mine:open pit, underground Main issues:land rights, water, community relations

Description

The Ocampo project consists of one open pit mine and two underground mines located in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The Ocampo mines have been operating since 2007 and are owned by the Canadian company AuRico Gold, previously known as Gammon Gold Inc. or Gammon Lake Resources Inc. On April 2007, around one hundred ejidatarios[1] occupied the mines demanding an economic compensation of 11 million dollars for damage to private property and to the environment. Ejitatarios stated that 29 hectares of forest had been cut down by the company, that cattle had been poisoned due to water contamination and that housing had been damaged by the use of explosives[i]. Furthermore, ejidatarios stated that the company had installed mining equipment in the ejido “Nombre de Dios” without having the required permits[ii]. The state government intervened in order to settle provisional agreement with ejidatorios and mining operations were reactivated three days later.

On December 2007, after a request submitted by Gammon Gold Inc., President Felipe Calderon issued a decree announcing the expropriation of the ejido “Nombre de Dios” because ejidatarios had refused to sell their land titles[iii]. On March 2012, one of the Ocampo mines collapsed causing the death of José Alfredo Flores and serious injuries to two other miners[iv]. Operations to recuperate the body of Jose Alfredo Flores were cancelled on April 2012, and the collapsed mine was closed down[v]. AuRico Gold announced it would provide the victim’s family with compensations for their loss[vi].



[1] Holders of a share in common lands.



Bibliography

[i] Miroslava Breach Velducea, “Reanudan Labores en Mina de Ocampo”, La Jornada,  May 5, 2007. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2007/05/05/index.php?section=estados&article=032n2est

[ii]Miroslava Breach Velducea, “Reanudan Labores en Mina de Ocampo”, La Jornada,  May 5, 2007 http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2007/05/05/index.php?section=estados&article=032n2est

[iii] Diario Oficial de la Federacion (DOF), May 29, 2009. http://dof.vlex.com.mx/vid/agostadero-nombre-dios-ocampo-chih-57978665

[iv] Filiberto Ortiz, “Derrumbe en Mina de Ocampo fue por Desgajamiento del Cerro”, El Observador, March 7, 2012. http://elobservador.mx/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8222:derrumbe-en-mina-de-ocampo-fue-por-desgajamiento-del-cerro&catid=44:destacado&Itemid=71

[v]   “Suspenden rescate de minero y clausuran mina de Ocampo”, Chihuahua, El Pueblo, April 10, 2012.http://chihuahua.elpueblo.com/ojinaga/notas/20120410/suspenden_rescate_de_minero__y_clausuran_mina_de_ocampo

[vi]“Suspenden rescate de minero y clausuran mina de Ocampo”, Chihuahua, El Pueblo, April 10, 2012. http://chihuahua.elpueblo.com/ojinaga/notas/20120410/suspenden_rescate_de_minero__y_clausuran_mina_de_ocampo