Excellon Reports ProDESC Rejects Meeting to Resolve Issues between Excellon and Ejido La Sierrita
Toronto Stock Exchange - EXN
TORONTO, Sept. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Excellon Resources Inc. (TSX:EXN) ("Excellon" or "the Company") advises that yesterday's planned meeting with the Ejido La Sierrita (the "Ejido") was cancelled by the federal government of Mexico after the non-governmental organization, ProDESC, insisted on the presence at the meeting of representatives of the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Mineros Metalúrgicos, Siderúrgicos y Similares de la República Mexicana (the "USW Union"), which is affiliated with the United Steelworkers. ProDESC's insistence on the presence of these union representatives contravened the terms of the meeting, which had been communicated to, and agreed upon in advance by, each of the Ejido and ProDESC.
Excellon remains in full control of the La Platosa mine and continues to access and ramp up to full production at the mine via the new alternative access opened on August 29th.
Yesterday's meeting was to be mediated by the federal government's Ministry of the Interior. Also present for the meeting were representatives of CONAGUA (the federal bureau responsible for water management and permitting), the federal Procuraduría Agraria and the state government of Durango. Company representatives were present along with three members of the Concerned Women of Bermejillo, a group of local women whose families and livelihoods have been affected by the illegal blockade commenced by the Ejido at La Platosa on July 8th.
The meeting agenda set out by the federal Ministry of the Interior was strictly focused on the three issues the Ejido claim as the primary reasons for the illegal blockade: (i) the ore trucking concession, (ii) the cafeteria concession and (iii) water management. The federal government had stated that a concrete advance or resolution of these three issues should result in the permanent removal of the Ejido's illegal blockade of La Platosa.
Although representatives of both the federal and Durango governments attempted to reason with ProDESC for approximately two hours, ProDESC stated that it would not enter the meeting to represent the Ejido without USW Union representatives also being present. The USW Union representatives included Jorge Mora, the leader of the local Section 309 of the USW Union, whose employment with Excellon was terminated in 2010 after he was found sleeping on a scoop-tram underground while the equipment was running (a violation of Mexican law and the Company's safety policy). Faced with ProDESC's intransigence, the federal government cancelled the meeting and the issues related to the Ejido were left unresolved.
ProDESC has publicly stated that it supports the USW Union and has represented that union in various meetings with federal and state authorities since the Ejido's illegal blockade commenced on July 8th. The illegal blockade commenced three days after a July 5th union vote at La Platosa in which approximately 60% of voting workers at La Platosa expressed their support for unions other than the USW Union. The Sindicato Nacional Minero Metalúrgico Napoleón Gómez Sada, which represents approximately 5,200 workers in many of Mexico's major companies and is the USW Union's primary rival in Mexico, won the most votes at the election based on initial results. The election is pending certification by the Ministry of Labour of the state of Durango. As previously stated, Excellon remains committed to working with the union that is democratically elected by the workers of La Platosa and certified by Mexican labour authorities.
Excellon attended the meeting with concrete plans and proposals in respect of the trucking and cafeteria concessions and water management. As the Ejido have not obtained a permit from CONAGUA for the water pumped from La Platosa, Excellon cannot currently provide the Ejido with water to be removed from the La Platosa property. Excellon has designed alternative proposals in respect of water management, however, and had hoped to discuss and advance these proposals with the Ejido yesterday, particularly while representatives of CONAGUA were available and in attendance at the meeting. Excellon hopes to resume direct discussions with the Ejido on these issues in the near future.
Status of La Platosa Mine:
The Company currently has full access to the mine via an alternative access opened with the support of the Concerned Women of Bermejillo on August 29th. At this time, the Ejido remain encamped illegally at the main access, though this encampment does not hinder ongoing ramp-up operations at the mine.
During the blockade, essential services were maintained at La Platosa, including pumping operations. The Company aims to resume full production when ordinary course permits are received. Excellon will provide an updated forecast when the ramp up to full production is completed.
Excellon has provided a backgrounder for all stakeholders at www.excellonresources.com that describes the issues to be discussed at today's meeting and the Company's position in respect of each, along with further information regarding the illegal blockade, the Ejido, USW Union and ProDESC.
Excellon, a mineral resource company operating in Durango and Zacatecas States, Mexico, and Ontario and Quebec, Canada, is committed to building value through production, expansion and discovery. Excellon is Mexico's highest-grade silver producer; it produces silver, lead and zinc from the high-grade manto Mineral Resource on its large, 100% owned Platosa Property, strategically located in the middle of the Mexican CRD/silver belt. Excellon's focus is on expanding its operating capacity and increasing its Mineral Resources at Platosa where an exploration program focused on diamond drilling and advanced geophysical techniques is ongoing. The Platosa Property, not fully explored, has several geological indicators of a large mineralized system. The Miguel Auza Mill Operation in Zacatecas also has 41,000 hectares of underexplored land. Excellon also has ongoing gold exploration programs on the DeSantis Project, located near Timmins, Ontario and the Beschefer Project, located in northwestern Quebec. Both these projects host gold mineralization and significant potential for the discovery of more. Excellon will continue to use cash from operations to fund its ongoing exploration activities.
On behalf of
EXCELLON RESOURCES INC.
Peter A. Crossgrove
The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this Press Release, which has been prepared by management. This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 27E of the Exchange Act. Such statements include, without limitation, statements regarding the future results of operations, performance and achievements of the Company, including potential property acquisitions, the timing, content, cost and results of proposed work programs, the discovery and delineation of mineral deposits/resources/reserves, geological interpretations, proposed production rates, potential mineral recovery processes and rates, business and financing plans, business trends and future operating revenues. Although the Company believes that such statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as: believe, expect, anticipate, intend, estimate, postulate and similar expressions, or are those, which, by their nature, refer to future events. The Company cautions investors that any forward-looking statements by the Company are not guarantees of future results or performance, and that actual results may differ materially from those in forward looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, variations in the nature, quality and quantity of any mineral deposits that may be located, significant downward variations in the market price of any minerals produced [particularly silver], the Company's inability to obtain any necessary permits, consents or authorizations required for its activities, to produce minerals from its properties successfully or profitably, to continue its projected growth, to raise the necessary capital or to be fully able to implement its business strategies. All of the Company's public disclosure filings may be accessed via www.sedar.com and readers are urged to review these materials, including the technical reports filed with respect to the Company's mineral properties, and particularly the November 22, 2011 NI 43-101-compliant technical report prepared by Roscoe Postle Associates Inc. with respect to the Platosa Property. This press release is not, and is not to be construed in any way as, an offer to buy or sell securities in the United States.
SOURCE Excellon Resources Inc.