In an environment marked by constant disputes with federal authorities and low foreign direct investment (FDI), the mining sector urged the government to support the industry as it is one of the key players in the economy, supplying raw materials that drive other sectors.
According to data from the Ministry of Economy (SE), FDI totaled US$1.5 billion from January to September 2022, less than the US$3.4 billion registered during the same period in 2021 and a year-over-year decrease of 55.9 percent. According to the Mexican Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX), the downward trend is expected to continue: In 2023, FDI could decrease by a further 15 percent.
Some experts associate the decrease in FDI with a challenging international investment environment, but others argue that the federal government's stance toward mining is also scaring away investors, particularly with the administration’s decision not to grant new concessions for mining projects. According to CAMIMEX, the policy resulted in 181 foreign companies leaving the country in 2021 and 822 projects delayed because of missing permits.
Under these disadvantageous circumstances, the Mexican Association of Miners, Metallurgists and Geological Engineers (AIMMGM) urged the government to start a dialogue and support the mining sector. AIMMGM said that this situation could damage the competitive advantages the country offers. It also highlighted that mining is done in 24 of the 32 Mexican states, concentrated in Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Zacatecas, Durango and Sonora.
Contrary to rumors, AIMMGM said that the mining industry works hard to keep a good environmental and social track record. The mining industry also complies with all regulations and applicable norms, although it could do more work to do to ensure environmental preservation.
According to Andrés Robles, Vice President of Government and Association Relations, AIMMGM, the mining sector has failed to emphasize its importance as the foundation of the Mexican economy, as it supported the creation of important cities like Taxco, Guerrero. He also said that informal mining created a bad reputation for the law-abiding mainstream sector.
AIMMGM’s statement comes a week after the Minister of Economy, Raquel Buenrostro, accused the mining sector of corruption. She argued that in the past, the government granted concessions to companies that did not comply with the legal framework. Buenrostro also accused the sector of not paying enough taxes, as reported by MBN.