Salvador García
View from the Top

Collaboration, Agreements to Promote Mining Development

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 12:05

Q: How will the newly-elected board of directors bolster the association’s role in promoting the development of the Mexican mining industry?
A: So far, the association’s role has been to witness and support the decisions that have been made in relation to mining in the country. We want to change that role or at least lay the foundations for it to be an association that proposes substantial changes that benefit the mining industry in Mexico.
One example of this is the joint agenda we would like to set up with SEMARNAT, PROFEPA and other government institutions to make the industry more sustainable and socially responsible. This is something that society and some authorities have not understood, perhaps due to a lack of information or misinformation in the media. Mining is one of the most sustainable and socially-responsible industries in the country but it tends to have a negative image not only in Mexico but globally. We must change this by informing the public of the virtues of mining with facts and evidence.
Q: In your experience, how can AIMMGM build an effective bridge between the private and public sectors in mining?
A: The role of the association is to be an interlocutor between the public and private sectors. To do that, we must approach the public sector to inform it of the industry’s importance and requirements to continue driving economic value for the country. Good communication in both directions is important so we can always stay well-informed and able to deal with any problems that arise. This also gives us the leverage to identify areas of opportunity to boost the mining industry in Mexico.
Our main asset is that we represent the mining sector and our members are the industry’s main decision-makers. One way that we are able to work toward our common goal of growth for the mining industry is through the association’s integration, which empowers us in our actions.
Q: What impact does AIMMGM expect the EDUMINE program to have and why is this important?
A: We believe that education is the best means to achieve objectives in any field. EDUMINE is an online platform that provides over 200 courses on mining-related topics through online courses, interactive live webcasts and face-to-face classes. It is supported by the University of British Columbia and the University of Arizona. Its training helps our union members remain up to date on key topics and trends in the industry. The fact it is online provides participants with flexibility, while also giving the option of face-to-face interaction.
Q: What have been the main ups and downs of the 2012-2018 administration and in what state will the new government inherit the mining industry in Mexico?
A: From my point of view, the incumbent government never had mining on its agenda and that is one of the reasons behind the implementation of the new 7.5 percent duty plus 0.5 percent for precious metals. The new government will inherit a battered industry in addition to an excessive tax burden compared to other countries. This is exacerbated by the insecurity that permeates our country and the absence of the rule of law, especially in rights of way disputes. It seems that in these scenarios, the private interest is set aside and the ejido or landowner is always right, often due to political motivations rather than rule of law.
I do not predict any substantial change in terms of the new administration. It is impossible to tell what will happen under AMLO’s government but I feel it is important that each of the entities in our association plays its part to collaborate for the best interests of the mining industry in Mexico. I would request that the next administration consider the value of the mining industry in the socioeconomic development of our country and take that into account when making policy decisions. For example, exploration should be encouraged throughout the country, which would involve reversing the previous fiscal reform and making pre-operational exploration expenses immediately deductible for new projects.