TORONTO, ONTARIO and MEXICO CITY, MEXICO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/05/13 -- Excellon Resources, Inc. yesterday refused to present three corporate governance proposals to shareholders at its upcoming Annual General Meeting on April 30, 2013.
On March 25, 2013 Mexican communal landowners of the Ejido La Sierrita, shareholders of the company since April 2008, submitted three resolutions to Excellon's corporate office in Toronto. The proposals call for full disclosure of payments related to its Mexican operations, separation of board and management, and the election of a director specialized in human rights. They are based on company mismanagement of conflicts with local landowners and workers at its La Platosa facility, its only producing mine. During 2012, the company failed to negotiate in good faith with local landowners and violated worker rights to free association.
"We are local landowners who have sought to have a working relationship with this company. When the company refused to dialogue in good faith, we peacefully protested the mine's decisions to which the company responded by bulldozing our camp and burning our belongings. We seriously doubt this would be dealt with in the same way in Canada," said David Espinoza, President of the Ejido La Sierrita Assembly. "As shareholders since 2008, we deserve to have a company that governs itself well and operates with respect for those directly impacted. Excellon's failure to circulate these proposals to shareholders is yet another example of the company's unwillingness to address its chronic problems in Mexico."
The recent protest slowed operations from July until October of 2012. It began when the company refused to address lack of compliance with a land use agreement that it signed with the Ejido La Sierrita. Days later, over 50 workers from the mine joined the community protest to demonstrate against the company's systemic efforts to keep them from organizing an independent union in the mine. Though the protest camp was located on private property with consent of the landowners, in late October the company-supported union violently bulldozed and burned it down using large mining equipment as Excellon's Chief Operating Officer looked on.
The company argues that it will not present these proposals under any circumstances. The company did voluntarily agree to nominate a new CEO in the short-term, a significant request made in the community's shareholder proposals, but who nonetheless is a director and has had direct involvement in failed negotiations during 2012. Failure to address such issues related to its Mexican mine at the April 30 shareholder meeting leaves Ejido members in doubt as to Excellon's commitment to operate in compliance with human rights norms.
"We are considering our legal options to appeal the company's decision at this time," noted Daniel Pacheco, a communal landowner.
The Ejido and ProDESC updated a fact sheet regarding the conflict which can be accessed here. Copies of the rejected shareholder proposals are also available upon request.
(Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales)
Tel. 55-5212-2230, 55-5212-2229, 55-3334-6045
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