Vulcan Materials to Face Lawsuit After Allegedly Defying Pact
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Vulcan Materials to Face Lawsuit After Allegedly Defying Pact

Photo by:   Tom Robak
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Fernando Mares By Fernando Mares | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Wed, 05/04/2022 - 11:39

President López Obrador will instruct the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) to take legal action against Calica, a subsidiary of Vulcan Materials, after the government claims the company did not comply with the agreement the parties reached last month.

The president said that although the government and Vulcan Materials reached an agreement to stop the company’s limestone exploitation, Calica’s operations are continuing. López Obrador admitted to feeling “deceived.” 


When air observers checked the progress of the  Mayan Train Project’s Section 5, they purportedly noticed that the company continued its activities even though it no longer possesses the required permits. The president also presented showed video evidence in which extraction and transport of materials were evident. 


“I was there this weekend and they fooled me regarding their stop of activity. I flew by once and there were no activities. But now I flew by again and I realized they were still working, I saw how they loaded a ship,” the president said. 


The government said it would initiate legal proceedings because of the broken laws and the damage to the environment the company’s activities could cause. It therefore instructed María Albores, The Minister SEMARNAT, to act. Vulcan Materials has not yet responded to the issue.


In 2019, Vulcan Materials requested arbitration against the Mexican government under USMCA regulation due to the revocation of its port concessions, which the company said blocked its operations. In March, the president presented its proposals to Vulcan’s executives. The pact included the removal of the material reserves the company has stored in Playa del Carmen, as well as a full operation shutdown, with the option to turn Punta Venado into a port terminal.


Last month, Interior Minister Adán López announced that an agreement had been reached with Vulcan Materials: the company accepted to change the mine’s use of land permit to transform it into a tourist complex. López announced that military engineers would visit Vulcan’s facilities to evaluate if the material exploited by the company could be used for the Mayan Train’s construction. He also announced that the future touristic project could be linked with the Mayan Train.


Vulcan Materials arrived in Mexico 45 years ago through a joint venture with Grupo ICA. The two companies created Crescent Market to produce limestone in Playa del Carmen and export it to various countries, of which the US is the most important.

Photo by:   Tom Robak

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