Mining Industry's Stability Expected to ImproveBy Paloma Duran | Thu, 06/10/2021 - 17:52
The results of the federal elections have left President López Obrador without a majority in Congress, this means the government will not be able to fast-track initiatives in the sector. In addition, the government has decided not to nationalize Mexico's lithium production and has requested the help of the private sector. However, specialists said that the country's lithium deposits are in hard to extract clay deposits and its production process is very expensive. An accident at a coal mine in Coahuila trapped 7 miners, authorities have recovered 6 bodies and are still looking for the missing miner.
This and more in your weekly roundup!
June 6 midterm elections turned out to be what many industry specialists consider good news for the mining industry, especially now that the government does not have a qualified majority needed to make constitutional changes, as a result, the landscape has shifted for the better. Mining companies will benefit from greater stability and thus a better platform to attract investments.
The preliminary results give López Obrador’s coalition 279 seats divided among MORENA (197), PVEM (44) and PT (38). These are 53 seats short of a qualified majority in Congress that would have allowed the administration to fast-track initiatives like amending the Constitution.
MORENA, President López Obrador´s political party, has announced it does no longer seek to nationalize lithium production in Mexico and is calling on the private sector and investors to help the government boost the country’s lithium potential. MORENA’s Senator Alejandro Armenta Mier, explained that the government has understood that to take advantage of lithium, Mexico needs the private sector. ”We are allies of domestic investors and foreign investors who respect us." In addition, Armenta announced he will promote a bill to regulate the lithium market in Mexico, which will be presented in September with the new legislative session.
Mexico ranks ninth in the world among countries with the largest lithium reserves with 1.7 million tons, according to the US Geological Survey. The country is expected to benefit from lithium demand; however, its reserves are located in hard-to-extract clay deposits, which makes its production expensive and unprofitable. Fernando Alanis, President of CAMIMEX, explained that Mexico’s lithium has a concentration of only 0.001 percent per ton and, to bring it to a percentage for battery (30 percent), the cost and energy used are very high.
Newmont Corporation has released its 2020 Sustainability Report, showing that the company's commitment to ESG practices and responsible mining has gotten stronger. Additionally, the company reported this year it plans to improve its ESG performance. Among its goals for 2021 are zero fatalities, increase employment rates in local and indigenous communities, address all complaints received within 30 days, implement risk mitigation plans for 60 percent of new contracts with suppliers and support the collective management of water and improve its quality.
Barksdale Resources Corp. has announced the main key areas of its 2021 technical program for its San Javier copper-gold project in Sonora. In addition, the company expects to receive approval from SEMARNAT in the coming weeks to begin Phase 1 of its drilling program. Drilling will begin in the Cerro Verde zone, where previous programs identified significant copper oxide-gold mineralization of up to 200m. The company's goal is to confirm the historical work and structure of the area, which is believed to have higher mineralization.
Radius Gold has announced that their completed rock sampling at the Maricela project has shown both high grade gold-silver vein targets and wide stockwork and breccia zones. The combination of multiple intersecting vein systems, alongside the mineralized stockworks on the vein margins, result in large breccia and stockwork zones at the vein intersections and compelling drill targets.
An accident at a coal mine in the municipality of Muzquiz, Coahuila trapped seven miners. Previously, the conditions of the mine had already been denounced by employees and organizations. According to the Coahuila Ministry of Labor, authorities received information about the accident on June 4, when it was reported that the mine was flooding and miners were trapped in its tunnels. The authorities hoped to rescue the miners; however, they have recovered 6 bodies and believe that the only missing miner has also passed away.