Miramont's project in Peru may affect Indigenous communities

The Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines determined that Canada's Miramont Resources (CSE: MONT) is not eligible for an automatic approval of its drilling permit for the Cerro Hermoso project, as it is possible that the exploration activities may affect Indigenous communities.

In a press release, the Vancouver-based miner explained that since its Environmental Impact Statement was approved earlier this year, the official decision means that now the Ministry has to conduct a series of assessments to determine if Indigenous groups will, in fact, be affected by Miramont's activities.

"If it determines no community will be affected, then the drilling permit should be issued without further delay. If MEM finds communities may be affected, it will be required to conduct a process known as consulta previa between itself and the local community," the statement reads.

Consulta previa stands for previous consultation and it is a process whose purpose is to ensure that the community has been fully informed of the pending exploration activities and that they willfully agree to allow them on their traditional territories.

According to Miramont, once the consultation process is done, a permit should be issued.

"While we have already established strong local relationships, as evidenced by our existing agreements and positive working experience, this additional review allows community relationships to be transparently demonstrated. In addition, it will add significant long-term weight to our social license," the firm's President and CEO Bill Pincus said in the brief.

Cerro Hermoso is located in the southern Puno region, 60 kilometres from the city of Juliaca and 5 kilometres northwest from the supply town of Santa LucĂ­a. Historic mining at the site yielded approximately 750,000 tonnes at an average grade of 15 oz/t, Ag, 1% Cu, 2% Zn, 2% Pb and 1.0 g/t Au were mined.