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News Article

Undersecretariat of Mining Eliminated

By Alejandro Ehrenberg | Wed, 09/02/2020 - 08:45

Mexico’s Ministry of Economy announced the elimination of the Undersecretariat of Mining. The measure is a result of a presidential austerity decree directed at federal agencies and bodies.

Eliminating the department does not imply any affectation to the attributions, faculties and actions with relation to mining that the Ministry of Economy carries out through the General Directorate of Mines, the Mining Fund and the General Directorate of Mining Development.

Francisco Quiroga held the position of Undersecretary of Mining since Dec. 1, 2018. The Ministry of Economy highlighted that from the beginning of his tenure Quiroga promoted responsible mining based on socially-inclusive and environmentally-sustainable development.

Among his achievements, the Ministry of Economy underlined the implementation of sanitary protocols to protect mining workers and communities from the COVID-19 pandemic. Francisco Quiroga will continue to be part of the López Obrador administration but his new role has not been announced yet. The Ministry of Economy remarked that it will continue to build on the foundations that Quiroga laid for a new mining in Mexico.

During an interview with Mexico Business News, Quiroga elaborated on his vision for the Mexican mining industry. He said that it is crucial to implement an active industrial policy that integrates every sector player and provides certainty to investors. The policy’s main guidelines should be innovation, diversification and inclusion. Quiroga further explained that, to this end, there are three important approaches: “First, carrying out business in a right way; second, fostering the industry’s competitiveness by reducing costs; three, reconfiguring the role of authority.” He championed new mining models based on industry best practices that underscore inclusion and sustainability. “Our goal is to reverse current negative trends that we observe in the sector,” Quiroga said.

According to Milenio, Mexico’s Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX) expressed disagreement with the decision to axe the Undersecretariat: “Mexico should not lose such an important position at the federal level of government. The Mining Undersecretariat guarantees the sector’s governance, ensures an adequate administration of the nation's natural resources and is an important bridge of communication and action. As a united mining sector, we reiterate our discrepancy and reaffirm our willingness to continue working hand in hand with the federal government. We emphasize that it is essential to maintain high-level dialogue for the benefit of the national economy and its urgent reactivation.”

Prominent industry figures have voiced similar sentiments on their respective Twitter accounts. Fernando Alanís, CAMIMEX President and Peñoles CEO, commented: “We received the news of the disappearance of the Undersecretariat of Mining with great pain. Our appreciation and thanks go out to Francisco Quiroga for his great work.” Canada’s Ambassador to Mexico Graham C. Clark remarked: “Francisco Quiroga is a great professional and has been an exemplary official in the service of his country. We are going to miss him.” Senator Armando Guadiana also expressed concerns: “We recognize the work of our friend Francisco Quiroga as Undersecretary of Mining, where he demonstrated great capacity and ethics. We regret the disappearance of his position.”

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Alejandro Ehrenberg Alejandro Ehrenberg Journalist and Industry Analyst