The third part of this investigation includes three foreign companies with mining projects in the Isthmus region of Tehuantepec and part of the Sierra Sur: The Canadian companies Minaurum Gold Inc and Acapulco Gold Corp and the Australian Oz Minerals. Five maps were made corresponding to the projects of these companies. This visual tool is for communities to locate themselves and know if their lands have already been granted.
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Project Santa Maria
On the website of Minaurum Gold Inc, revised in July 2018, there is a map of the Santa Marta project, which illustrates two mining concessions: the “Mar de Cobre” (Title: 231753) and “Jackita” (Title: 225472) in the Cartografía Minera de la Secretaria de Economia (SE). These two concessions cover San Miguel Chimalapa and Santo Domingo Zanatepec, totaling 7,100.3494 hectares. The original owners of the concessions have links with Minaurum. The co-founder of Minera Cascabel, Peter Megaw, is one of the directors of Minaurum. The president of the Minera Zalamera, David Jones, among other positions in the mining sector, is director and geologist at Minaurum, and the founding director of Acapulco Gold Corp, the company that manages the Riqueza Marina, Zaachila and Zapotitlán projects.
Ot the Minarium Gold Inc website, reviewed in July 2018, the company stated that the Aurena project consists of 1,035 hectares 40 km from the port of Sanina Cruz. This information coincides with the “Aurena” concession(Title:227940) in the Cartografia Minera de la SE, which covers 1,035.0912 hectares of Santo Domingo Tehuantepec. The original owner of this concession according to Cartografia Minera is Minera Zalamera, S.A de C.V. whose president is David Jones, director and geologist at Minaurum, and director and founder of Acapulco Gold Corp.
Project of Oz Minerals and Acapulco Gold in Oaxaca
The Australian company Oz Minerals, in a press release on the 19th of April 2017, details three projects of mine exploration in Oaxaca; Riqueza Marina, Zaachila and Zapotitlán. Oz Minerals says that it will be working on these projects in collaboration with the Canadian company Acapulco Gold Corp(AGC). The director and founder of AGC is David Jones, who is also president of the Minera Zalamera S.A. de C.V., the company that holds the different concessions that make up these projects. Jones also works as director and consultant geologist at Minaurum Gold Inc., the organization that manages the Aurena and Santa Marta projects in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
Outside of Istmo, Jones has worked consulting multiple companies including Gold Resource Corp., advising the development of Arista (Switchback) Mine of the El Águila de Valles Centrales project, and looking for new prospects for the company within the so-called ‘Oaxaca Mining Unit’.
Project Riqueza Marina, 1, 2 y 3.
The map, included in the April 19th Oz Minerals press release, indicates three polygons related to Riqueza Marina, which coincide with the location of the mining concessions “Riqueza Marina 1” (Title: 240044), “Riqueza Marina 2” (Title: 240045) and “Riqueza Marina 3” (Title: 240165) of the Cartografía Minera. The three concessions mainly cover Santo Domingo Tahuantepec, Santa María Mixtequilla, San Pedro Comitancillo, and a corner of San Blas Atempta, with a total area of 8,184.969 hectares. According to the information in CartoMinMex, on the 25th of September 2017, Oz Minerals requested a fourth concession, Riqueza Marina 4. The requested concession would cover 9,399.66 ha around the Riqueza Marina 1 and Riqueza Marina 2 concessions.
In the same April 19th press release, Oz Minerals details a second mining exploration project in Oaxaca called Zaachila. The map included in the press release indicates a polygon that coincides with the location of the mining concession “Zaachila” (Title:235917) of the Cartografía Minera. The concession covers 3,264 hectares between the municipalities of Santiago Asata and Santo Domingo Tehuantepec.
The third project in the 2017 press release is Zapotitlán. The map included in the press release indicates a polygon that coincides with the location of th emining concession ” Zapotitlán 1″ (Title: 238447) of the Cartografia Minera. The concession convers 5,412.9573 hectares between the municipalities of Santa Maria Ecatepec, San Carlos Yautepec, Magdalena Tequisistlán, Asunción Tlacolulita, San Miguel Tenango, San Pedro Huamelula y Santo Domingo Tehuantepec.
Ties between the principle actors
David Jones, the president and owner of Paradex Inc, recently sold the Project Rama de Ora to the Megastar Development Corp. The press release of Megastar from May 10, 2018 indicates the acquisition of the project as an agreement between the Zalamera Mine, Paradex and Megastar. The press release did not indicate which concessions the project was made up of, but in the Cartografía Minera there are three concessions with the title Minera Zalmera in the zone indicated by Megastar: “Rama de Oro” (Title: 236148; Area: 1,000 ha), “Rama de Oro 2” (Titulo: 241348; Area 3,987 ha) and “Reduccion La Zalamara” (Title 233559; Area: 3987 ha). The concessions cover San Dionisio Ocotepec, Santiago Matatlán, San Lorenzo Albarradas and San Pablo Villa de Mitla but it is unknown whether the project includes all three concessions.
On June 4th 2018, Megastar announced plans to aquire another two projects in Oaxaca, calling them Opción Magdalena and Opción Yautepec respectively. Opción Magdalena, according to the press release, consists of a 480 hectare concession. In the current Cartografía Minera there is a concession “Magdalena”(Title: 241138) which covers 480 hectares between San Pedro Quiatoni and San Carlos Yautepec.
Opción Yautepec, according to the same press release, consists of 4,861 hectares close to the project El Águila of Gold Resource Corp. In the current Cartografía Minera, there is no concession with these attributes. However, a review of CartoMinMex and its mining concession applications reveal that there is an application that was made on 25 of September for a concession called “DestinAuConocido”, which encompasses 4,860.95 hectares of San Carlos Yautepec, San Juan Lajarcia and San Bartolo Yautepec. The application has the same data as the application for “Riqueza Marina 4”.
A way to close
This investigation, in its three parts, takes 15 mining projects of foreign capital in Oaxaca, looks to the information from distinct sources to understand and map the projects and their concessions. What we are left with after this process are various maps detailing the projects of Gold Resource Corp, First Mining Gold Corp, Minaurum Gold Inc, Acapulco Gold Corp, and Oz Minerals. It fits to add that behind these large companies, operating in the state, there are actors, individuals with lots of power and influence. One of these such actors is David Jones, a principle figure that has actively participated in various mining projects in Istmo, Valles Centrales, and Sierra Sur; as well as strategic positions in diverse mining companies. It is to say, that communal lands in Oaxaca are being appropriated by a mere handful of people.
With respect to the mining companies, it is difficult to keep up with them due to name changes, and the constant transactions on concessions and projects, including requests for new concessions. Together with all the above, it should be remembered that the federal institutions in charge of the subject publish outdated and often incomplete information, which leads us to say that the mining panorama is a map always in flux, always changing. And we ask ourselves again, who benefits from this disinformation, and this confusion?