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Alamos gold mining company in the “Sonora cluster”, Mexico

El Chanate (Altar) and Mulatos (Sahuaripa) are both gold mines (with major accidents in 2016 and 2018). They belong to Canadian company Alamos Gold (also active in Morelos, Mex., in Turkey and Canada).


Although the mine El Chanate (in Altar) and the mine Mulatos (in Sahuaripa) are distant from each other (some 400 kms), one at the border with the US in northern Sonora, the other also in Sonora, east of Hermosillo, both are gold mines, and both belong to the Canadian company Los Alamos, and both are controversial because of major disasters in recent years.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict: Alamos gold mining company in the “Sonora cluster”, Mexico
State or province:Sonora
Location of conflict:Altar and Sahuaripa
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral processing
Mineral ore exploration
Tailings from mines
Specific commodities:Gold
Project Details and Actors
Project details

According to the company website (3).

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Level of Investment:800,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:2,000
Start of the conflict:2014
Company names or state enterprises:Los Alamos from Canada
AuRico from Canada
Relevant government actors:Gvernor of Sonora
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:CNDH, Comision Nacional de Derechos Humanos
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Forms of mobilization:Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Mine tailing spills, Soil contamination, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Other Environmental impactsCyanide spill. Landslide.
Health ImpactsVisible: Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other Health impacts
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights, Displacement, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of livelihood
Other socio-economic impactsNational Commission of Human Rights was asked to intervene in Mulatos mine, threat of landslide in 2014(10) which actually took placea few years later.
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:The company continues operations, despite accidents, and allegations of failure to pay due royalties.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Both gold mines, Mulatos and El Chanate (in Sonora) belonging to the Alamos company (from Canada) are in operation. The company has economic (royalties) and social liabilities and also environmental liabilities. In Morelos (Micatlan) the company is facing strong opposition in 2018.(8). In November 2018 Alamos Gold announced that it was stopping extraction of mineral in El Chanate. only the heap leaching dumps would continue working.
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

(1) Negligencia minera (26 abril 2016) originó derrame de cianuro en Sonora (Servindi, 5 mayo 2016). 400 metros cúbicos amenaza población de Altar.
[click to view]

(4) La Jornada. Cristina Gómez Lima. 15 de diciembre de 2018,. El deslave de una roca en la mina de oro Mulatos, ubicada en el municipio de Sahuaripa, dejó seis trabajadores atrapados la tarde del jueves: cuatro fueron rescatados, pero dos continúan desaparecidos, informó ayer la empresa Minas de Oro Nacional SA de CV, filial de la trasnacional Álamos Gold Inc.
[click to view]

(2) El Universal. Amalia Escobar. Continúa busqueda de mineros sepultados por derrumbe de mina Mulatos, Sonora, del consorcio minero Alamos Gold, el 13 dic. 2018
[click to view]

(5) La Jornada. Derrama minera 400,00 litros de cianuro. 3 mayo 2016
[click to view]

(3) Description of the properties of Los Alamos Gold in Mexico, Turrkey, Canada, already in production (Mexico and Canada) or under development.
[click to view]

(6) Alamos Gold and Aurico Gold fusioned. 2015.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

(10) Proceso, CNDH investiga en Sonora a minera Alamos por daños ambientales, 26 Nov. 2014
[click to view]

(8) Activan protesta contra Alamos Gold. Micatlán Morelos. 22 julio 2018.
[click to view]

Minería de oro a cielo abierto, una voladura en Mina Mulatos, Sonora (video)
[click to view]

(7) Dulce Olivera. Las mineras de Canadá han pisoteado a México. Sin Embargo, 30 enero 2017.
[click to view]

(9) Nuevas inversiones mineras en Sonora 2016, Gobernadora Pavlovich 11 marzo 2016 (incluyendo Alamos Gold)
[click to view]

Meta information
Last update18/08/2019
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