Mining and Cement Industries Affected by Proposed Reforms in Mexico

Proposed constitutional reforms aiming to ban open-pit mining concessions in Mexico could directly impact not only the mining sector but also the cement industry, prompting calls for dialogue and analysis from industry representatives.

Mining and Cement Industries Affected by Proposed Reforms in Mexico
Photo by Jorge Aguilar / Unsplash

The Mexican government's recent proposal for a constitutional reform to prohibit the granting of open-pit mining concessions has raised concerns among various sectors, particularly the mining and cement industries. Luis Humberto Vázquez San Miguel, president of the Association of Mining, Metallurgical, and Geological Engineers of Mexico (AIMMGM), emphasized the highly regulated nature of the sector, which invests over 4.5 billion pesos in environmental remediation, pollution prevention, and water utilization efforts.

The federal government has criticized the mining sector for its environmental impact and significant water usage, accusations the industry refutes. The proposed reform, submitted to Congress last week, seeks to address these concerns by halting new open-pit mining operations, citing their detrimental effects on water, air, vegetation, soil, subsoil, and local fauna. The current administration has not issued any permits for open-pit mining operations, aligning with its stance on environmental protection.

Vázquez San Miguel countered the government's position by highlighting the mining sector's minimal water usage, which accounts for only 0.35% of the water under concession, compared to larger shares by the food production and public supply sectors. He also pointed out Mexico's global leadership in silver production and its ranking among the top 10 producers of 16 other minerals, underscoring the industry's significant contribution to employment and the economy.

The sector is currently engaging in discussions with authorities to showcase its environmental initiatives, hoping to reach agreements that balance economic interests with environmental protection. The outcome of these talks and the potential impact of the proposed reforms on the mining and cement industries remain to be seen.

Source: Dossier Politico