News Article

Sonora, Most Important Mining State in Mexico

By Karin Dilge | Wed, 07/06/2022 - 10:05

Sonora is the Mexico’s top producer of copper and gold. Although other states are coming closer, Sonora is still very much ahead in copper, producing over 80 percent of the total national production. Copper is a major factor in Sonora maintaining its leading positioning, said Jorge Aguirre, President, the Mexican Chamber of the Construction Industry (CMIC) Sonora.

“Sonora is the mining state par excellence, with 36 percent of Mexico's total mining production. It has Hermosillo as the national mining capital in terms of supply,” said Aguirre. He predicted that prosperous times lie ahead for the state’s mining sector, which benefits from an open, understanding and inclusive government.

Leonardo Taylor, Director of Mining, The Government of Sonora, points out that his government deeply understands the importance, impact and weight that the industry has in the state. Therefore, local authorities are working to maintain investment level and supporting companies to reactivate their concessions.

More than 100,000 jobs in Sonora’s mining sector pay over 40 percent of the average salary. In total, 22 municipalities have mining activities as their main economic driver. The state boasts 71 active mining units, which ensures Sonora retains the highest amount of ongoing operations in the country.

“The geological potential of the state is a differentiator and should be promoted and marketed in order to attract investment,” said Taylor. Furthermore, he mentions that attracting investment is one of the challenges faced by the entity because there is an exploration deficit that need to be reactivated.

Taylor explained that the mining concessions in the state of Sonora encompass 30 percent of Sonora’s land, of which 14 percent have been explored and in 0.12 feature established mining projects. In this environment, it is the responsibility of the state’s government is to communicate this to the federal government in order to rescue and reactivate permits and defend the benefits of mining in Sonora.

Fernando Estrada, Director General, Sonora Mining Cluster, explains that the Cluster promotes integration and the strengthening of managerial capacities for companies. Integrating environmental and social development issues are further key issues. The Cluster has had a vision of integrating four helixes: investors, academia, the state and society, in order to cover the needs that can arise in any mining project. Moreover, it seeks to include the new generations and merge with other industry. “The mining industry today needs capabilities that were previously not considered relevant to the sector,” said Estrada.

Sonora has received international attention for its recently-uncovered lithium deposits and the policy changes of the federal government to the Mining Law regarding the mineral’s ownership. “Analyzing and studying lithium and the viability of projects to exploit the mineral has to be the focus now. We must work toward that to create a new industry so that more jobs arrive to the country,” said Taylor. Overall, the experts agree that Sonora has world-class geological potential. The state has also cemented itself as a true mining employer, with many of its leaders having been shaped by the industry.

Karin Dilge Karin Dilge Journalist and Industry Analyst