August 21, 2014
08/19/14 New York Times
Environment Secretary Juan Jose Guerra Abud said Tuesday that a mining company lied about a spill of 10 million gallons of acids and heavy metals that contaminated two rivers and a dam downstream. Mr. Guerra Abud said the mine claimed the spill on Aug. 7 in the northern state of Sonora was caused by unusually heavy rain but called that “totally false.” He said the Buenavista del Cobre copper mine, owned by the Grupo Mexico consortium, could face fines of up to $3 million in safety and environmental violations.
August 20, 2014
08/19/14 The Wall Street Journal
Mexican environmental authorities are pressing charges against mining company Grupo Mexico S.A.B. de C.V. over an acid spill in northwestern Sonora state that contaminated two rivers and left thousands of people without drinking water.
The federal environmental protection agency Profepa said Monday it has filed charges with the Federal Attorney General’s Office against Grupo Mexico mining units Buenavista del Cobre and Minera Mexico for alleged violations of environmental laws, including possible negligence in the handling of dangerous substances.
November 1, 2013
The Economist, 11/1/2013
Bradford Cook runs his finger along a vein of ore rich in silver and gold and comes as near to purring as a veteran Canadian miner can. “This place has been mined for 450 years yet this little treasure box has been hiding less than 25 metres below ground,” he says. He points to the mine’s British manager, scrambling excitedly across the newly blasted rocks, and chuckles: “This is what Dave calls ‘horny’.”
But the object of their affection is rapidly tarnishing before their eyes. On October 30th, the day that Mr Cooke brought the board of his Vancouver-based company, Endeavour Silver, on their annual inspection of one of its three mines in central Mexico, the upper house of Congress approved a new mining tax proposed by the government of Enrique Peña Nieto. “If it goes through as is, our fourth mine will not be in Mexico,” declared Mr Cooke.
October 28, 2013
Financial Times, 10/27/2013
Mexico is poised to levy some of the world’s harshest royalties on mining companies potentially hurting its business-friendly image just as, paradoxically, it seeks to open its energy sector up to private investment.
The proposal before the Senate, which has a deadline for approval of October 31, would impose a 7.5 per cent flat tax on mining profits, levy an extra 0.5 per cent on profits from precious metals and stop exploration expenses from being immediately tax deductible.
June 27, 2013
Under the 1992 mining law, Mexico has granted around 31,000 concessions to some 300 companies for more than 800 mining projects on nearly 51 million hectares. Most of the companies involved are Canadian, according to the economy ministry’s most recent figures. ProMéxico, the government office dedicated to drawing in foreign investment, and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) report that Mexico is the world’s top producer of silver, in third place for bismuth, fifth for molybdenum and lead, and ninth for gold.
In 2012, the mining industry generated 300,000 direct jobs in Mexico, accounted for seven billion dollars in investment, and represented two percent of GDP, according to official figures. ProMéxico predicts that in 2014, the mining industry’s contribution to GDP will rise to four percent, and that in the next six years, the sector will bring in 35 billion dollars in investment, in a country where 70 percent of the territory has significant mineral deposits, according to official estimates. But local communities have clashed with the mining companies because of the deforestation, water pollution and dumping of toxic liquid waste.
May 24, 2013
The Wall Street Journal, 5/23/2013
An influx of mining investments throughout Latin America is bringing badly needed investment, but is also causing tensions in some communities, pitting those who see mines as job creators against those who view them as predatory, in some cases threatening scarce resources like water. Here in the Ocotlán valley in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, two outspoken opponents of a subterranean mine run by a small Canadian firm, Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., were killed in separate incidents in the past year. Dozens were beaten or threatened. Two local government officials who approved the mine, including the then-mayor, were killed by an anti-mining mob.
From 2006 to 2011, mining exploration investment in the region jumped 150% to $4.55 billion, top in the world and equal to one in every four dollars, according to the mining industry information company Metals Economics Group. The investments are creating jobs, roads and other benefits in some of the most neglected corners of the developing world. But it is also creating tensions in a region with a long and complicated history with mining.