Juan Manuel González
Partner
DBR Abogados
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View from the Top

Coordination, Information and the Enforcement of Rule of Law

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 18:00

Q: What is DBR Abogados’ added value to the mining industry and what are your main areas of specialization?
A: Our main added value to the industry is that our growth goals as a firm are always aligned with the preservation of our policy to provide comprehensive solutions to our national and international clients. This we achieve through personalized services that deliver the highest standards of ethics, quality and professional responsibility. These are very exciting times for us and we are looking forward to the future. We have good relationships with all mining law firms in Mexico and keep the most relevant firms and consultants in the industry as close partners. As we also are on good terms with the most prestigious mining law firms in Canada, we can represent the interest of foreign investors attracted to mining projects in Mexico. Our name is already well-known in the sector, but we constantly seek to close new working deals with the most efficient service providers.
Q: In your experience, what are the main areas of opportunity to improve legal regulations and enforcement in mining?
A: Mining is a priority industry for the López Obrador administration. New provisions in mining legislation are being worked on to simplify procedures and make regulatory authorities more efficient; for example, in areas with a significant lag, such as the granting of mining concessions and registering agreements. Also, the new administration faces great challenges to restore the trust of the mining sector and its investors. We need to push for the creation of clearer and more effective regulations to foster exploration and production and for the enforcement and compliance with the rule of law. In our opinion, mining is over-regulated. A first action should be to tie up criteria and regulations associated with the industry and to simplify the procedures between government agencies.
As for any proposed amendments to the Mining Law, there are many aspects of the law that cannot be modified arbitrarily, such as community consultation. These amendments require a previous revision and altering of the Constitution, implying a deeper process that cannot be undertaken just by a reform initiative to the Mining Law. I advise the industry to be better informed about the legal channels and procedures to modify the law because misinformation harms the stock exchanges.
Effective communication between all the authorities regulating mining activities in the country is also fundamental. An efficient granting of permits and licenses to operate at any stage of the mining cycle is fundamental to boost the attractiveness of Mexico as a mining jurisdiction that welcomes foreign investors and acknowledges mining as a key pillar for the country’s development. To achieve this goal, I propose the creation of an nter-ministerial commission as a body that can coordinate between government agencies and private entities.
Q: From a legal standpoint, what are your expectations and recommendations for the Undersecretariat of Mining?
A: DBR Abogados is very pleased with the appointment of Francisco Quiroga as the Undersecretary of Mining. He is well-qualified to undertake the responsibility of leading the Undersecretariat of Mining as he is aware of the mining industry’s current hurdles and the urgent actions needed to tackle these and restore investor confidence. Also, as he is young, I am confident that he will bring a fresh vision to the industry.
As for our advice, we strongly recommend the further participation of public officers who are qualified in mining and have the abilities to understand the procedures of the General Bureau of Mines. It is harmful to the industry to confuse miners with scattered legal provisions. With experience in the industry, we trust that the new undersecretary will be an interlocutor between the legislative branch and other government agencies because it is necessary to coordinate criteria, for example, regarding explosives permits and mineral exports.