EconomyFinancialThe Canadian Argonaut Gold will invest 9 million pesos...

The Canadian Argonaut Gold will invest 9 million pesos in the closure of its El Castillo mine, Durango

Located 100 kilometers north of the capital of Durango, in the municipality of San Juan del Río, the El Castillo mine reached an accumulated production of 799,502 ounces of gold until July of this year . But 14 years after starting operations, the Mexican subsidiary of the Canadian company, Argonaut Gold, is preparing to say goodbye to the first mine it operated in Mexico .

To do this, the company designed a closure plan that includes actions related to the natural restoration of the area, as well as post-closure monitoring for at least two years, which will require an approximate amount of 9 million pesos .

Margarita Bejarano, director of corporate affairs and communication for the mining company, said that previously mining used to have a “welfare” logic around the communities, however, “this closure plan seeks to change the narrative, putting the town and its inhabitants in the center of everything”.

El Castillo has, in addition to the open pit gold mine, two leaching platforms, two gold recovery plants and the infrastructure required for all areas of operation, such as workshops and offices. It is made up of seven mining concessions that occupy about 2,045 hectares.

Alfredo Phillips, vice president of corporate affairs and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) of Argonaut Gold, stresses that after the closure of a mine, the towns around it are often known as “ghost towns” when their main source is removed. of resources, however, the firm has the objective of changing the narrative in El Castillo.

“We want to make a change in the paradigm. We want to put the community at the center of the strategy. The community is not lateral, adjacent or complementary, the community has to be the center of the process”, he highlights.

For the elaboration of the General Restoration and Closure Plan , the obligations with respect to the Environmental Impact Statement were considered, which the firm presented before beginning to operate in the complex, where the criteria and procedures to achieve physical stabilization and chemistry of the operating area.

For example, the company plans to place a new layer of soil on the leaching pads, recovering the state it had prior to the construction of the operating areas. It also seeks to carry out reforestation with native species, as well as runoff management and control works to prevent water erosion, are some of the actions contemplated.

Once environmental restoration has been achieved , the firm will carry out post-closure monitoring for at least two years , a period in which it will evaluate the results and continue to serve the needs of the population. El Castillo currently employs 400 people.

Guillermo Velasco, superintendent of the closure plan, underlines in an interview with Expansión that the company will be carrying out its activities around the needs of the community. For example, if they wish to keep the workshops or offices of El Castillo so that they can later be used by tenants as meeting rooms, they will remain even when Argonaut Gold has said “goodbye”.

Likewise, the company intends to replicate the actions in this mine in its other complexes when the time comes to close them . “Each project has its social, environmental and climatic particularities. These standards that are already established must be adapted to the situation chosen by the localities in each of their projects,” Velasco details.

The company, which is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, also operates the San Agustín mine in Durango, La Colorada in Sonora, Florida Canyon in Nevada, United States, as well as the Magino project in Ontario, Canada.

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