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Ball in Mexico govt’s court to correct title issuance procedures – Almaden

5th July 2022

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

     

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The Supreme Court of Justice has formally notified the Mexico Economy Ministry (Economia) of its April decision declaring TSX- and NYSE American-listed Almaden Minerals’ titles relating to the Ixtaca project “ineffective”. However, the mineral title applications were filed in conformity with legislation.

Almaden says that it understands this to mean that the mineral title has reverted to the application status until such time as Economia completes its court-ordered indigenous consultation in the area covered by the mineral title applications.

“With the completion of this legal case, the ball is now in Economia’s court to complete all the requirements and reissue the mineral titles quickly and effectively. While it is the government's responsibility to correct its mineral title issuance procedures, Almaden stands ready to cooperate in any manner it can,” says chairperson Duane Poliquin.

The Supreme Court final decision provides detail to Mexican authorities regarding the procedures required to be followed by those authorities in the performance of indigenous consultation prior to the grant of mineral claims. The decision also clarifies that unless there is a significant impact on the rights of an indigenous community caused by the granting of the mineral title, such as relocation or something similar, title issuance is not dependent upon the consent of the indigenous community in question.

Almaden notes that it has no interest in holding mineral claims over the land of the indigenous community which initiated this legal case.

Almaden’s mineral claims were the basis of a lawsuit against the Mexican government asserting that the country’s mining law is unconstitutional. In 2019, a lower court in Puebla state, where Almaden’s Ixtaca gold/silver project is located, determined that Mexico’s mining law is unconstitutional because it fails to include provisions requiring consultation with indigenous communities before the granting of a mineral title.

The Ixtaca deposit, which Almaden discovered in 2010, hosts a proven and probable reserve containing 1.38-million ounces of gold and 85.1-million ounces of silver (73.1-million tonnes grading 0.59 g/t gold and 36.3 g/t silver).

According to a 2018 feasibility study, the Ixtaca openpit mine will produce 108 500 oz/y of gold and 7.06-million ounces a year of silver over the first six years. The study had an aftertax net present value of $310-million, at a 5% discount, an aftertax internal rate of return of 42% and a payback period of 1.9 years.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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