The Virtues of Mining in MexicoBy Israel Méndez Becerra | Tue, 02/02/2021 - 09:22
Mining is one of the world’s oldest and most powerful industries. In Nuevo Leon, some miners have made their concessions productive but a great majority have not had that opportunity. Small miners that own lots with coal, manganese, zinc, barite, calzite, silver and other minerals have not been able, or have not had the necessary access to bank loans, to make their mines produce.
This is unfortunate because mining is important to Mexico, which is reflected in the benefits that arise from this activity, such as the generation of jobs, foreign exchange, investment, the growth of the value chain and the important contribution to the cultural development of our country.
The sector is also among the main industries in Mexico. It contributes 2.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it is the sixth-leading sector in terms of generating foreign currency for the country (US$17.5 billion last year) and at $8 billion, it concentrates almost a quarter of total foreign investment. Mining has a positive macro-economic impact and also generates positive impacts on the economy of the surrounding communities.
Yet, a great majority of small miners also have not been able to pay for studies that prove the reserves of their minerals and many lack the money to hire miners, machinery, mills and transportation for their production. When a miner has had this opportunity, the company that reaches out to them requires them to pawn their concessions for minimal profits. The terms, frankly, are unfavorable to the small miner.
Today, we need a true awakening regarding mining in Mexico. Mining can help advance the country’s growth and those people who are dedicated to the sector should have the many opportunities for professional development that all Mexicans enjoy. It is essential that the industry highlight the solid evidence of its virtues and explore the causes behind the social discontent that has been paralyzing large mining investments.
Our country is in a stage of reinvention. Despite all the factors that may discourage us, Mexicans are not afraid to build a better landscape. This should be true of mining as well.