Canadian miners complain of hefty taxes, weak rule of law in Mexico

10/31/16 Reuters

Canadian miners are seeking a meeting with Mexico’s president to air grievances about issues ranging from the rule of law to aggressive tax collection, according to an unusually strident letter by an industry group published on Monday.

President Enrique Pena Nieto should intervene for Mexico to “recover its position in relation to other investment destinations in the hemisphere,” the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico (CanCham) wrote on behalf of the miners, in a letter printed in Mexico’s Reforma newspaper.

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Illegal Mining a Golden Opportunity for Mexico Crime Groups

9/29/16 InSight Crime

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A prominent Mexican activist turned government official recently called attention to the ties between organized crime and the nation’s mining industry, sounding an alarm that has grown increasingly loud in recent years.

In an early September public event concentrating largely on the 1994 Chiapas uprising, Jaime Martínez Veloz, head of the official Commission for the Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples (Comisión para el Diálogo con los Pueblos Indígenas) and a longtime advocate, blamed Mexico‘s mining industry for strengthening organized crime.

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Mexican government sees gold, silver production down in 2016

4/8/16 Reuters

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Mexico expects gold and silver production this year to drop while copper output will be flat as low prices continue to weigh on the sector, the government’s top mining official said in an interview.

Mario Cantu, the economy ministry’s general mining coordinator, said gold output this year is estimated to reach about 120,000 kilograms, or down nearly 4 percent compared to production of 124,581 kg in 2015.

Silver production is expected to fall in 2016 by more than 6 percent compared to last year, to reach 5,245 tonnes.

Meanwhile, copper output is seen flat this year at about 540,000 tonnes, compared to production of 540,468 tonnes in 2015. (Reporting by David Alire Garcia)

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Why Mining Companies Struggle with Security in Mexico

7/3/15 Stratfor Global Intelligence 

MiningGuerrero state has a significant number of productive mines, many of which exploit the rich seam of gold that runs through the region. Unfortunately, as interim Guerrero state Gov. Rogelio Ortega emphasized June 26, the preponderance of mineral extraction companies provides numerous targets for rampant criminal activity, much of which goes unrecorded. The governor urged mining companies to report all crimes perpetrated against them and to invest in public security instead of making extortion payments, often as high as $100,000 per month.

Ortega’s statement highlights a common problem: large multinational firms operating in Mexico are hesitant to report security issues to authorities, particularly in regard to kidnapping and extortion. It also serves as a reminder of the weak rule of law throughout most of Guerrero state that continues to challenge multinational corporations operating there.

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Mexico: Trust to Pay for Spill Damage

9/11/14 The New York Times

MiningMexican federal officials say Grupo Mexico, a mining conglomerate, will set up a $151 million trust to pay for damage caused when one of its mines spilled acid-laced copper sulfate and heavy metals into two rivers in northern Mexico on Aug. 7. The company blamed heavy rains for the overflow of containment ponds on Aug. 7. Officials say lax supervision at the mine appeared to have caused the accident.

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Mexico: Mining Company Lied on Spill, Official Says

08/19/14 New York Times

MiningEnvironment 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.

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Grupo Mexico Faces Charges Over Acid Spill

08/19/14 The Wall Street Journal

MiningMexican 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.

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