A Mexican legislator proposed to reform the Mining Law once again so that confidential information concerning mining companies is made public. The legislator emphasized that the lack of this information stands at the basis for social and environmental issues for communities hosting mining projects and minorities.
MORENA legislator Adriana Bustamante Castellanos has proposed amending Article 7 of the Mining Law to force mining companies to disclose key information about their production, processing, ore sales, data on reserves and financial statements. Bustamante explained that the article is out of date, as the confidentiality clause arose from Mexico's efforts to join the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1992.
Bustamante stressed that another advantage of the amendment will be that mining companies will also have to report on their environmental impact and strategies to guarantee the health and well-being of host communities.
“The 1992 legislation allowed mining companies to cause irreparable damage to the ecosystems and territories where such extractive activities are carried out. It has also had impacts on the health and well-being of communities. We need the amendment. The absence of timely, truthful, complete and intercultural knowledge about the projects and their socio-environmental impacts has meant that Indigenous, African descendant and farming communities do not have the tools to adequately participate in the prior consultation processes,” said Bustamante.
The Mexican Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX) told MBN that even though the mining industry has been accused of polluting, neglecting and worsening the quality of life of nearby communities by the government, it is one of the most regulated activities in the country. To operate, mining companies must have an environmental operating license, an operating certificate, authorization in terms of impact and change in land use and comply with Mexican specifications and standards.
“It is of the utmost importance to highlight the true nature of the modern and professional mining industry that operates in Mexico. Mining is committed to the economic development of the communities, regions and states where it operates. It is an industry that ultimately boosts the quality of life of the inhabitants of our host communities,” Fernando Alanís, Former President of CAMIMEX, told MBN.
Regarding environmental efforts, CAMIMEX reported that Mexico’s highest level of investment for clean energy will be reached in 2022, reaching US$51.3 million. In 2021, the sector invested US$236.3 million in environmental efforts and US$36.5 million in clean energy. Experts highlighted that the increase in investment is due to the weakening of the COVID-19 pandemic.