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Mining in Mexico

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Mexico has a long tradition of mining production stretching over 500 years, thereby playing a pivotal role in the country's economic activity and contributing to a large proportion of the country's the national and state economies in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Since 2003, Mexico's aggregate exploration spending grew faster than the world average moving Mexico from eight to fourth place on the global mining ranks. Much of this growth was attributed to Canadian-based junior exploration companies, making up 80% of the active explorers in Mexico.

Key Reasons to Work in the Mexican Mining Industry:
  • Mexican legislation encourages investments in the sector. The 1993 Mining Law (Ley Minera) opened up new areas to foreign investment previously limited to Mexican financing. It also removed the requirement for foreign capital investments to be associated with Mexican capital in a proportion of 49-51% respectively.
  • Openness to foreign direct investment. Any company from around the world is encouraged to invest in the country.
  • Obtaining mining licences are quick. Typically takes between 6-8 months for a licence to be granted as opposed to North America it can take between 5-10 years.
  • Labour costs are lower. Labour is 60-80% lower as compared to the first world.
  • Long history of mining. Mining in Mexico stretches over 500 years, before the Spanish conquest and colonization. One of the main reasons why the workforce in the mining industry is highly skilled.
  • Availability of public mining information. Delegated by the Mexican government, the Mexican Geological Survey and Ministry of Economy makes public all information relevant to mining including exploration surveys, historical mining information, suppliers, land ownership and much more.
  • Supporting investment. The Ministry of Economy's Mining Promotion Trust (FIFOMI) is another key player. In 2009 it helped capitalize micro, small and medium-sized mining companies as well as the sector's production chain with loans worth 510 million USD, 20% higher than in 2008, in addition to offering training and technical assistance to more than 8,000 companies.
  • Canada a key player. Out of more than 738 exploration projects currently carried out by 232 companies, 70% are undertaken with investment coming from other countries: 75% from Canada, 15% from the US and the rest coming from countries such as the UK, Australia and Japan, among others.

Sources: ProMexico, Latin American Herald Tribune, NAFTA, DoingBusinessinMexico.com, Mining.com, Metal Economics Group (MEG)