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Equality between those in favor and against the Magnesite mine in Artesiaga

This Wednesday concluded the citizen information and participation process on the Artesiaga mining project in the valleys of Esteríbar, Baztán and Erro promoted by Magnesitas Navarras. The company commissioned this process to a company specialized in demographic studies in order to collect proposals, suggestions and recommendations made by the citizens of the valleys in which the project is framed.

This process aims “analyze and value the perception that citizens have about the project in their territory” and “consequently build a mining project in harmony with its surroundings,” said Magnesitas Navarras.

In addition to promoting citizen participation through the different channels enabled by the company (web, email or online mailbox), a total of 379 surveysopen interviews and deliberative forums in which the population of the three valleys has participated.

Of the 379 surveys carried out, 44% of the people surveyed identify the “lack of job opportunities” as a situation that “gives great concern”. Added to this priority concern is the lack of public aid to encourage development (16.06% of those surveyed) and the scarcity of social and health services in rural areas (14.85% of the sample).

Near a 70% of the surveyed population considers that they are quite or very informed in relation to the Artesiaga mining project. 73.09% of the people interviewed value positively the socioeconomic impact that it can have mining investment in the area, especially in relation to the creation of employment, both direct and indirect, to the improvement of some infrastructures and the possibility of curbing depopulation. Regarding Magnesitas’ commitment to extensive traditional livestock farming, more than 44% considered it very good, obtaining the highest rating, according to the company.

In relation to what is the assessment that the respondents express about the impact that this mining project will have in the area, 47.76% consider that the impact will be “zero or scarce”, while 49.86% think that this impact will be “important”, especially with regard to the environment, an issue considered directly by 28.57% of the sample. It should be noted that specifically the visual impact is rated as “minor” (little or very little significant) by 56.2%.

In a final section of open questions, to which 36.41% of the sample responded (138 people), 26.81% of these people are in favor of the project, another 26.09% are against it, 14.49% identify the need to create direct and indirect employment in the area and 29.71% point to taking environmental aspects into account.

In view of these results the company Magnesitas Navarras is “satisfied” for the assessment that the citizens make of the Artesiaga mining project in this participatory process and willing to “collect the contributions, suggestions and opinions in the administrative process”.

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