Vista Gold of Colorado, representing two Canadian mining firms, has applied for exception to the Sierra Laguna Biosphere protection to operate an open pit gold mine. Thousands turned out to protest the plan and a Protest Caravan is planned from Cabo to La Paz January 28.
by James Glover, Publisher
I wrote about the Concordia open pit mine in our last www.BajaInsider.com issue. Here is a follow up; after attending the rally and researching more on what has happened since and what are the future plans to protect the Sierra de la Laguna . The Concordia open pit mine by the Vista Gold Corp. and Pediment Gold other mining companies of Canada claim they are still planning to go forward with their permits even though there has been a growing opposition to the project (see the Vista Gold corp. press release below).
Agua Vale mas que Oro! (Water is worth more than Gold!) was chanted repeatedly at the protest rally in el Tule in the Los Cabos corridor on the 16th of January. The environmental organizers from Quaayip of La Paz, Baja Sur en Peligro and Vista Gold No were hoping for 5000 people and over 8500 showed up protesting the Concordia project and to spell out the letters SOS shown here!
According to www.vistagoldno.com the following day the director of SERMANAT (Environmental agency of Mexico) announced they will not issue the required permits for this mine. While this is great news there is still more to be done to protect the Sierra de La Laguna, UNESCO protected Bioshere from this and other possible toxic mining operations.
More Protests Planned
According to the President of Agua Vale mas Que Oro, Lic. Ariel Ruiz Castillo, once again this Friday, Jan. 28th there is going to be a caravan protest of people going from San Jose del Cabo, starting at 9AM through the corridor to Cabo San Lucas north to Todos Santos and ending at 3pm in La Paz where they will present a petition to the congress and governor of Baja Sur. I must say, I along with many others I saw; we were all amazed at the organization of the event and the quantity of people that do care and are willing to do something about it! Those onboard boats in La Paz may add their voice of support by joining a flotilla which will pass the municipal pier about the time the caravan arrives.
In the following press release from Vista Gold corp. after the last rally, you'll see they believe they still can obtain the necessary permits for the Concordia mine. This is why so many are still protesting and working hard to protect the environment of Baja California Sur against all toxic mining projects in this area. According to UNESCO in the Sierra de la Laguna global biosphere, water is worth more than gold as these ground waters supply a great area of arid Baja Sur and therefore must be protected.
Vista Gold corp. press release in its entirety:
DENVER, Jan. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Vista Gold Corp. ("Vista" or the "Company") (TSX & NYSE Amex Equities: VGZ), in response to what it believes to be misleading media coverage in Baja California Sur, Mexico ("BCS"), today provided an interim update on the permitting process for its Concordia gold project in BCS. Vista is proceeding with Concordia's development in accordance with federal mining and environmental laws and continues to be in compliance with all statutory obligations and responsibilities in BCS.
Fred Earnest, Vista's President and COO commented: "Based on our ongoing dialogue with officials in the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources, the Secretariat of Agrarian Reform, the General Direction of Mines of the Secretariat of Economy, ProMexico and our advisors in Mexico, we remain confident of our legal right to advance and permit this important project. We are actively pursuing all avenues to advance the project through the remaining permitting stages. Consistent with previous disclosure, we cannot be certain of the timing to complete the permitting process. Vista will allocate the appropriate levels of project expenditure while permitting efforts continue."
Vista believes that the Concordia gold project has been designed to comply not only with applicable Mexican legislation, but with the highest international standards for the protection of the environment and the health and safety of the proposed workforce and members of the local communities. When all permits and approvals are in place, Vista intends to invest more than US$200 million to construct a modern mining facility that is expected to provide jobs for 400 to 600 workers during construction and 300 full-time employees during the project's life. Vista's plan to construct a desalination plant is designed to satisfy the project's water needs without compromising the quality and supply of existing sources of water for local communities. Upon closure of the project, the desalination plant is intended to become a long-term, fresh water source for the communities neighboring the project area. The Company continues to work actively with communities in the project area and enjoys strong support from the local community.
Mr. Earnest continued: "Vista is a gold portfolio company offering its shareholders exposure to several advanced, large and potentially highly prospective gold mining development opportunities. In addition to maintaining our efforts at Concordia, we intend to bring to bear increased effort in 2011 on the other important assets in the Company's portfolio. We plan to advance the development of the Mt. Todd gold project in Australia, including the planned completion of a bankable feasibility study by the end of 2011. In addition, we are accelerating our plans to unitize our assets in the Yellow Pine - Stibnite district in Idaho, through a proposed business combination with Midas Gold Inc. to create a significant new, gold exploration company.
The BajaInsider.com will continue to follow this issue affecting all in Baja California Sur.
Please attend the caravan rally or if not possible go to the sites below and send out emails and be heard!
Www.vistagoldno.com English or Spanish
A very big and grateful thanks to these organizations and the participants from the www.bajainsider.com team!