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Mining companies have not left Mexico – officials

Mexico’s Undersecretary of Mining Francisco Quiroga Fernández. (Image courtesy of the Economy Secretariat, Facebook).

Mining companies operating in Mexico have continued to invest in their operations, according to the Economy Secretariat’s Undersecretary of Mining Francisco Quiroga Fernández.

Talking at the virtual conference “Mining Reactivation in the Face of the New Normal,” organized to celebrate Miner’s Day in Mexico, Quiroga Fernández said that the covid-19 pandemic did not force local or foreign companies to shut down permanently or cancel projects, as most of those projects are conceived for 10 to 15-year terms.

Francisco Quiroga Fernandez moderated the conference ‘Mining Reactivation in the Face of the New Normal.’ Governors from mining states and companies shared their individual and joint efforts to reactivate the country’s industry.

According to the government official, even though exploration has sunk and production is expected to fall by 16% in 2020, mining activities are gradually recovering. In his view, ‘gradually’ is the keyword, as it is important that the sector’s reactivation is done following strict health and safety guidelines that give no room for possible setbacks.

About 70% of mineworkers have gone back to work, while 30% of mine personnel that have the ability to work from home are still doing so, NGO Mexico Minero reports.

Together with the paced reactivation of the mining sector, Quiroga Fernández expects also to be able to kickstart infrastructure projects in a number of communities that surround mining operations. His office is counting on a Mining Fund that currently holds some $75.8 million from special levies charged to mining companies between 2015 and 2018. 

The Undersecretary of Mining also said that he expects a positive push for the industry following the launching of the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement, which formally replaced NAFTA last week.

In his view, the signing of the deal sends a positive message to investors as it implies that Mexico’s mining sector is aligned with productive chains in both Canada and the US.