TORONTO, Sept. 26, 2012 /CNW/ – Excellon Resources Inc. (TSX:EXN) (“Excellon” or “the Company”) today reported that an illegal demonstration was held at the Company’s La Platosa Mine in the state of Durango, Mexico by members of the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Mineros Metalúrgicos, Siderúrgicos y Similares de la República Mexicana (the “USW Union”), affiliated with the United Steelworkers Union, along with members of the Ejido La Sierrita (the “Ejido”), both of which are advised by the non-governmental organization ProDESC.
Yesterday, labour authorities in the state of Durango held a hearing to certify the results of the union election held at La Platosa on July 5th. Based on the initial results of that vote, the Sindicato Nacional Minero Metalúrgico Napoleón Gómez Sada (the “Sada Union”) was elected by the workers of La Platosa to be the representative union at the mine. The final certification of the results of the vote was deferred at yesterday’s hearing for a further two weeks. Following the hearing, a mixed group of members of the USW Union and the Ejido assembled on roads leading into the La Platosa mine site and refused to allow incoming or outgoing access to Company vehicles.
A few hours later, 50 members of the Concerned Women of Bermejillo (the “CWB”) assembled at the main access to La Platosa and the demonstrators dispersed from the entrance road. The CWB have been instrumental in their continued support for the resumption of full operations at La Platosa. They have pledged to continue supporting La Platosa and demonstrating the support of local communities for Excellon and the livelihood that the mine provides for hundreds of local families.
“The Concerned Women of Bermejillo have once again demonstrated local community support for the resumption of full operations at La Platosa,” stated Peter Crossgrove, Executive Chairman and CEO. “Our workers voted for their choice of union on July 5th and the local communities support that choice and its important implications for local employment and opportunities. Unfortunately, today’s demonstration shows that the Ejido continue to be misinformed and misled by an NGO that is intent solely on furthering the goals of a union that has indiscriminately blockaded mines across Mexico with no concern for the impact on local residents, workers and economies. We urge local and state authorities to uphold the law and protect the jobs and local economies that are at risk from these continuing illegal actions and threats of illegal actions.”
As previously disclosed, and considering the ongoing nature of the dispute with the Ejido, the Company has filed a legal action for damages and rescission (i.e., termination) of the surface rights agreement with the Ejido for 1,100 hectares of surface rights to exploration ground near the mine. Excellon is also preparing litigation proceedings against ProDESC regarding the illegal action ended in late August.
Excellon remains committed to working with the union that is democratically elected by the Company’s workers and certified by Mexican labour authorities. The Company is currently in discussions with all levels of local, state and federal government as well as with the CWB to ensure that further demonstrations of this nature do not reoccur. Excellon will keep its shareholders apprised of all developments at La Platosa via news releases and a revised backgrounder available on our website at www.excellonresources.com, which contains information regarding the Ejido, the USW Union and ProDESC.
Excellon’s high-grade silver production drives transformative exploration potential. The Company’s 100%-owned La Platosa Mine in Durango is Mexico’s highest grade silver mine, with lead and zinc by-products making it one of the lowest cash cost silver mines in the country. With 41,000 hectares of exploration ground surrounding the mine, Excellon is focused on discovering the large-tonnage Source of the high-grade silver mantos currently being mined. Such a discovery has the potential to transform La Platosa into the next major project in Mexico’s prolific CRD/silver belt.