-- The Court’s ruling could mean that the Company halts construction of the tailings dam.

MEXICO CITY, Sept. 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The following is a statement by PODER:

On Wednesday the Mexican Supreme Court issued a ruling regarding the construction of a new copper tailings dam in Sonora by Southern Copper Corporation subsidiary Buenavista del Cobre, S.A. de C.V., which could mean that the company must halt construction.

The community of Bacanuchi, represented legally by PODER, claimed that there was no public participation prior to the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) granting authorization to the company for the construction of the tailings dam. The Supreme Court ruled that the affected communities have a constitutional right to participate in environmental matters. The decision is definitive and there is no right to appeal.

In its 2017 annual report submitted to the U.S. SEC, Southern Copper reported that, from 2015 to 2017, it invested a total of $192.7 million in the tailings dam. In its latest quarterly report, it reported a total investment of $46.5 million in the project during the semester ending 30 June 2018. Tailings dams are used to store by-products of mining operations and, in the absence of somewhere to store them, production is compromised. A delay in construction of the project could negatively impact Southern Copper.

The company has told shareholders that construction of the tailings dam continues apace, with no mention that the Court’s decision could suspend the project. While its latest report mentions various lawsuits arising from the 2014 Río Sonora environmental disaster, it does not disclose the fact that this case has to do with the tailings dam and was, at the time, being heard in the Supreme Court.

By failing to disclose this and by stating that the proceedings would not have a “material effect,” Southern Copper made apparent misstatements and omissions of material facts required in public disclosures.

PODER is a regional, non-governmental, corporate accountability and human rights organization. www.projectpoder.org

Media contactMaría Fernanda Wray, mariafernanda.wray@projectpoder.org, Ofc: +52 (55) 5207-3392, Cell: +521 (55) 3333-9644