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Silver mine threatens Native American sacred site

Dec 23

Written by:
23/12/2010 14:28  RssIcon

Record silver prices are driving plans for mines on sacred land of the Huichol people of Mexico

Mining companies are cashing in on a bonanza thanks to record high silver prices. Mining company First Majestic Silver Corporation have plans for a mine in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi which will destroy Sierra de Catorce , a site of great cultural and spiritual importance to the Native American Huichol (Wixarika) people, according to Rainforest Rescue. For them, the Sierra de Catorce is the site where the sun was born and where they have their Sacred Springs.


22 of the mining concessions are inside the 6326.58 hectares of the Huichol's sacred desert "Wirikuta". Published plans involve opencast and deep mining in Wirikuta, using poisonous cyanide to separate the silver from the ore. For every gram of gold or silver, one tonne of silver ore have to be crushed and removed and two tonnes of freshwater are used.


The Huichol have formulated a Statement in Defense of Wirikuta, in which they demand the cancellation of the mining concessions and a moratorium on any mining or quarrying in Real de Catorce. Rainforest Rescue are calling on supporters to send an adapted version of the Huichol's resolution to the Mexican authorities via their website.


In the latest issue of Ethical Consumer we take a look at the true costs of precious metals and stones for those that produce them, as well as Fairtrade gold and ethical jewellers making a difference.


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