Mining is Back in the Game: Operations Bound to ResumeBy MBN Staff | Wed, 05/13/2020 - 11:48
After more than a month of being shutdown, the mining industry can resume operations. Yesterday, four agreements were approved for the progressive lifting of containment measures against COVID-19, among them, the incorporation of the construction, mining and transportation equipment manufacturing sectors into the list of essential activities, said the General Health Council.
All companies and establishments must implement sanitary measures, which will be issued by the Ministry of Health, IMSS and the Ministry of Labor.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, there are 379 municipalities free of COVID-19 and 70 percent of the activities of the mining industry are located in these municipalities, said last week President of the Mexican Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX) Fernando Alanís. "We are sure that if we can start activities in those municipalities following safety protocols, we could reactivate the sector generating development and well-being for those communities," he explained.
In late March, the Government of Mexico decreed a health emergency and non-essential activities were suspended from March 30 to April 30, which was extended until May 31, due to the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Shortly afterward, Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell released the list of essential activities and mining was not included. The Director of the Institute for Industrial Development and Economic Growth and Analyst at CONCAMIN José Luis de la Cruz, celebrated the General Health Council’s decision since the three industries contribute more than 10 percent to Mexico’s GDP.
In the case of the automotive industry, reactivation was also essential because the US will reopen most of its plants next Monday and there is already great demand for auto parts manufactured in the country, said this morning Editorial Director of the newspaper El Financiero Enrique Quintana in an interview for W Radio.
Mining, Core Activity for the Country
The mining industry captured US$3.5 billion in investments in 2019, which meant a drop of 28.5 percent. In exploration, the sector received US$382 million, a drop of 35.9 percent, according to preliminary data from CAMIMEX.
In its 1Q20 report, Grupo México said that industrial mining is closely linked to the chemical industry and the construction of electrical, hospital and medical infrastructure, as well as the production of supplies and technological equipment for the health industry. The company said that mining operations, due to their nature and high level of technification, "do not require concentrations of personnel in confined spaces. People work individually and with high-tech and reliable safety equipment, in addition to the fact that there is a wide distancing between individuals who carry out their respective activities, in some cases more than 100m away from each other," specifies the report.