Mining Benefits Are an Everyday RealityBy Eurídice Salomé González | Thu, 11/05/2020 - 09:36
I received an invitation to collaborate with Mexico Business News, which I gladly accepted with the sole purpose of joining the many voices that already have had a little something to say about our beloved Mexico and its wide variety of topics.
I am a school teacher who, in her lifetime, was lucky to come across the world of mining. I admit that before that, I had no idea what mining was about and I was much less aware of how important it was for every human being on the planet in his/her daily life.
Living in a small town in the state of Sinaloa, I was able to witness the process that several communities in the foothills of the mountains experienced when interacting with a mining company and how it influenced the lives of the people there.
I worked for many years in the mining industry. Therefore, I can tell you about what I first saw when I joined my first job and share with you a little bit about the immediate effect of mining on the social nucleus in these small towns where the socio-economic level was the same as in other parts of the countryside. These places survived on seasonal agriculture and animal husbandry as their main economic activity, some families had a few heads of cattle, primary education was the average acquired level, few had a car and a brick floor and a house, and there was a high rate of crime.
With the arrival of mining in my town, people were able to learn a new way of living and coexisting for better. They had improved communication routes, a more robust electrical service, learned new skills and competencies; safety standards, water care and monitoring, separation of materials, prevention and quality, environmental care and management and disposal of waste and more importantly, a safe and honest way of making a living. Without a doubt, there was a substantial improvement in the quality of their housing, education level and even now a percentage of people have university studies. They learned new skills that allowed some of them to reach out for new opportunities and were able to migrate to work in other places, even with other mining companies. But above all, they learned that they had the right to live with dignity and without fear.
The economic ripple effect is also very important and reflects direct social actions in which the need for health, education, productive projects, reforestation, cleaning and environmental care are addressed. Direct taxation and special tax contributions have benefited 52 percent of the trust allocated to the now extinct mining fund, whose beneficial impact was reflected in many infrastructure developments in the mining municipalities in the country.
Without a doubt, during COVID-19, the mining industry has been a strategic ally for training in the prevention of contagion, providing protective equipment and attending to the health of the inhabitants of the area, and particularly in areas where healthcare agencies can’t reach. My own friends and those with which I have a personal relationship are among those who have benefited from the arrival of the mining companies.
Every day in the media there are different opinions about mining, and we even see some attempts at initiatives or modifications to our existing regulatory framework proposed by different fronts. Everyone is trying to reinvent the wheel, trying to show that what was done in the past is useless, doesn't work or is corrupt. But I don't see anyone trying to demonstrate that what we already had as a country before Dec. 1, 2018 also works.
I believe in Mexico and its people. I believe in its geological potential and its mineral resources, in the technical and technological capacity, in the dedication of companies, and I also believe in the dedication of some politicians who work with the total conviction of serving Mexico.
I also believe that Mexico has everything to become a first-world country. It has a wide range of natural resources, territorial surface, marine diversity, flora, fauna, young as well as experienced people. I also think we have a regulatory framework that is first-world and that there are many Mexicans who try to do their best.
I am sure that like me, there are many people out there who can tell countless and positive stories about their time in the mining industry. This is just a small example and we could talk a lot more about the importance of mining’s social impact that helps people improve their social network, as well as, that people in general need to be more informed before giving a negative correlation to the mining sector. Especially, since this industry has become the economic and social alternative that our beloved country needs so much for developing communities.