Mining in Mexico: The sovereign take

November 4, 2013

The Economist, 11/2/2013

mineThe government needs to raise revenue in a country where tax avoidance is rife. The mining levy—a royalty of up to 7.5% on profits, plus 0.5% on revenue from precious metals—makes sense in principle. But it comes just when metal prices have swooned.

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Mexican airport operator GAP to appeal ruling on Grupo Mexico

January 17, 2013

Reuters, 1/17/2013

Photo by Flikr user anatamanMexico’s Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico said on Thursday it will appeal a judge’s decision that overturns an injunction preventing brokers from buying its shares on behalf of copper miner and railroad operator Grupo Mexico. GAP obtained the injunction almost a year ago as it sought to stop Grupo Mexico from accumulating GAP shares. But it said Thursday that brokers had appealed and a judge had lifted the restriction on trading GAP shares. The airport operator sought the injunction to safeguard its internal bylaws, which prohibit noncontrolling shareholders from holding a stake bigger than 10 percent.

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Groupo Mexico seeks to claw back fines it paid

December 21, 2010

Reuters, 12/21/2010

Mexican mining giant Grupo Mexico said on Tuesday it is seeking evidence from a U.S. federal regulator that it thinks could show its Asarco subsidiary paid $210 million in excess environmental fines.

Copper miner and railroad operator Grupo Mexico said it has sought help from a federal court to obtain documents from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it claims would show Asarco was not responsible for environmental damage in Omaha, Nebraska.

Asarco is a mining interest in the United States controlled by Grupo Mexico which emerged from bankruptcy at the end of last year.

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Mexico’s August Mining Production Up 13% On Year

November 16, 2010

NASDAQ, 11/16/2010

Mexican mining production rose 13% in August from a year earlier, with increases in copper, silver and gold, the National Statistics Institute, or Inegi, said Friday.

Inegi said silver production rose 1.3% to 291,040 kilograms, gold production was 26% higher at 5,704 kilograms, and copper production rose 5.6% to 19,502 metric tons.

Copper output is likely to pick up at a faster pace in following months as Grupo Mexico (GMEXICO.MX) restarts operations at Cananea, the country’s largest copper mine, after a drawn-out dispute with the country’s mine workers union kept the mine shut for three years.


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Grupo Mexico pitches Southern Copper, Asarco merge

July 23, 2010

Reuters, 7/23/2010

Mexican miner Grupo Mexico said on Friday it wants to merge its affiliates Southern Copper Corp and Asarco in order to boost efficiency, according to a filing with the Mexican stock exchange.

Southern Copper is one of the world’s biggest copper producers.

Grupo Mexico (GMEXICOB.MX) said subsidiary Americas Mining Corporation presented a proposal to the board of subsidiary Southern Copper (SCCO.N), recommending Southern Copper shareholders swap their shares for stock in Americas Mining.

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Secretive Mexico copper baron thrives despite crises

July 12, 2010


Reuters, 7/12/2010

He is Mexico’s second-richest man and his mining company has had a run of bad publicity with a deadly coal mine blast and a long strike, yet
German Larrea has managed to stay out of the news, cementing
his reputation as the country’s most secretive billionaire.

Precious little is known about Larrea, whose company Grupo
Mexico (GMEXICOB.MX) is aiming to regain its ranking among the
world’s top three copper producers. Most Mexicans have never
heard of him, and even photographs of him are rare.

The national miners’ union blames Larrea for a three-year
strike at Mexico’s largest copper mine Cananea and for a 2006
explosion at a company coal mine that killed 65 workers. But
Larrea has not appeared in person to respond to the union
claims, and he rarely appears in public at all.

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Court ruling may bring Cananea dispute to a head

February 28, 2010

Arizona Daily Star, 2/28/2010

The gates into the Cananea copper mine, just across the border in Sonora, represent much more than an industrial entryway.

The question of who will control those gates – the striking union or the mine’s owner – is the subject of a years-long legal dispute that has reached a crisis point with violent potential.

The dispute at those gates also is a stand-in for bigger conflicts that reach across borders and back into time.

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Mexican miners dig in at Cananea, defy court ruling

February 22, 2010

Reuters, 2/18/2010

Dozens of miners are blockading Mexico’s biggest copper mine day and night, dimming hopes that owner Grupo Mexico can quickly reopen it despite a court ruling that a 2-1/2 year strike is illegal.

A court ruled last week that Cananea, which used to produce 40 percent of Mexico’s copper, is in force majeure due to damage from the strike, meaning Grupo Mexico can cancel contracts, hire new staff and resume production.

But miners are refusing to relinquish control of Cananea, a symbol of Mexico’s labor movement since a clash here more than a century ago set the stage for the country’s revolution.

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Read earlier article about the original February 11 court decision…

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Mexican Appellate Court Decision to Allow Grupo Mexico to Terminate Employees at the Cananea Mine


The AFL-CIO condemns yesterday’s decision by a Mexican appeals court to allow the Grupo Mexico mining company to terminate the employment of 1,200 members of the National Union of Mine and Metalworkers (SNTMMSRM) at the Cananea mine.

In the proceedings, the mining company argued that it had a right to fire the striking workers because the strike had allegedly left the facilities inoperable.  However, no evidence of inoperability was ever presented to the courts; indeed, the mine remains operable to this day.  In finding the strike illegal, despite the lack of evidence to support its decision, the court effectively eliminated the right to strike in Mexico.  Notably, this case also represents the first time that inoperability was cited as the basis to fire striking workers.

Read the AFL-CIO press release condemning the decision…


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