The Mining Law reform will affect 26 companies in the Parral region, said Martin Flores Moya, President of the Mexican Employers' Confederation (Coparmex). Moreover, he warned that jobs in the industry are at risk in the medium and long term.
A total of 251 votes in favor, 209 against, and 1 abstention were cast in the Chamber of Deputies to reform the Mining Law even though several commissions were still awaiting their review of the legislation.
In the city of Parral alone, there are 19 mining companies of which 32% are micro-businesses, 42% are small and 26% are medium-sized companies, according to data presented by Miguel Maldonado Miranda, Director of Innovation and Economic Development of Parral.
In addition to the 19 companies operating in Parral, a total of six companies also works in Matamoros, Santa Barbara and San Francisco del Oro, according to information from the Economic Development Department.
Ángeles Gutiérrez Valdez, a Deputy of District 09, pointed out that the modifications to the Mining Law will affect entrepreneurs in the mining industry who generate jobs.
The legislator mentioned some municipalities that would suffer the consequences of the reform in the long term: Aquiles Serdán, Batopilas, Chinipas, Cusihuiriachi, Guadalupe y Calvo, Guazapares, Madera, Ocampo and Parral. The list also includes San Francisco del Oro, Santa Barbara, Satevó, Saucillo and Uruachi.
Pedro Méndez Alvidrez, President, the Chihuahua Mining Cluster, added that a total of 132,679 direct and indirect jobs in the state of Chihuahua will disappear. Data from the Cluster shows that this industry currently generates a total of 22,113 direct jobs and 110,565 indirect jobs.
President López Obrador recently presented an initiative to modify the Mining Law to reduce the duration of concessions in the sector from 50 to 15 years, with the possibility of extending them only once for an equal period. Additionally, it seeks to forbid the granting of permits in areas where there is a water shortage or protected natural areas.
The right of concession holders to access land expropriation will also be eliminated. Instead, the proposal suggests managing this through an agreement between concession holders and landowners or right holders. The bill also suggests a consultation with Indigenous communities before granting the concessions and it establishes an obligation for concession winners to present a social impact study to determine the potential effects that mining activities could have on people's lives.