In collaboration with the Mexican Geological Survey (SGM), the Ministry of Economy (SE) will develop a program that would allow SMEs to participate in mining exploitation activities, with the aim to promote investment in the sector and share industry knowledge with participating companies.
SE is to evaluate the economic and technical feasibility of mining projects, to assess if they can be exploited with the support of SMEs. For this purpose, it requested US$16 million from the Ministry of Finance (SHCP). The resources will be used for the exploration and evaluation of mineral deposits in the country.
According to SE, the project will focus on 58 areas with potential for mining activities where SMEs could participate with the help of the SGM. The government agency will provide technical assistance regarding exploration, evaluation and the certification of the mineral content of a deposit, as well as carry out the required studies to determine reserves. Fifty geological studies are expected to be carried out, with federal authorities supplying the required equipment. Although the program mainly aims to support smaller companies, the ministry states that it will benefit the entire mining sector.
The project will be carried out between 2022 and 2023 and aims to help public and private organizations to capitalize on the geological information that SGM provides. “[The project] considers the promotion of mining activity via the activation and reactivation of mining districts, with the potential to generate revenue within a competitive environment through national and foreign investment,” SHCP stated.
Although bigger mining players contribute more to the sector’s numbers, supporting SMEs is important since they contribute 3 percent to the sector’s production value, which stands US$6.8 billion a year, according to mining chamber CAMIMEX.
In an interview with MBN, Alfredo Tijerina, Director General, FIFOMI said that mining projects are usually high-risk investments because it can take about 15 to 20 years to foster returns. During this time, large sums of money need to be invested. This is the main reasons why investors prefer to bet on projects operated by major companies within consolidated markets.
The mining sector contributes 2.3 percent to Mexico’s national GDP and 8 percent to the industrial GDP. The sector employs over 367,000 people in the country, of which over 58,000 are women.