Mining investment in Mexico to hit $8bn record this year

Mining investment in Mexico, a prime destination for mining and exploring for gold and silver, is set to hit a new record this year reaching about $8 billion by the end of 2013, mining coordinator at the economy ministry, Mario Alfonso Cantu, was quoted as saying by El Economista (in Spanish).

The figure, higher than the record-high of $7.65bn in 2012, could rise to over $25bn by 2018, despite the prospect of less favourable metals prices, Cantu added.

Mexico, which ranks fifth globally in terms of mining investment and fourth in exploration spending, is one of the few countries left in the world that does not charge a royalty on mining production or profits. Instead, firms pay fees based on the number of hectares covered by mining concessions; they also pay 30% income tax.

However, the government is about to impose a 5% mining royalty on the sector, bill that still have to be passed by the Mexican Senate, which will see an important part of mining companies' pre-tax profits redistributed to the states and municipalities where they operate.

Mining employs about 334,000 directly, with 2 million people employed indirectly, making the sector Mexico's fourth largest industry in dollar income, behind cars, oil and electronics.