Sergio almazan



Q: Which characteristics of the business environment make Mexico a top destination for mining investment?

A: Mexico is a country with a long mining tradition. Year on year we are ranked among the top ten producing countries in the world for 17 minerals. Mexico is the leading silver producer in the world, and has been the tenth gold producer for two consecutive years. Out of the 2 million km² surface area that covers the national territory, 70% remains as of yet unexplored. According to geological surveys our territory is likely to contain further mineral deposits that are even larger and more significant than the ones that have already been discovered. This potential, as well as our dedication to the mining industry, have turned Mexico into the leading exploration investment destination in Latin America, and place us fourth in the world after Canada, Australia and the United States.

Q: What have been the main trends in mining investment in recent years, and what results are these investments delivering today?

A: In 2011, investment in the Mexican mining industry not only targeted exploration projects, but was also dedicated to the expansion of existing mines, infrastructure investments, equipment, training, and environmental technologies. In 2011, total investment reached US$5.612 billion, and we estimate that in 2012 investment will have reached over US$7.6 billion. To put this into context, in 2002 investment in the Mexican mining industry totaled US$340 million, which illustrates a substantial increase in investment over the past decade. In the past year, 60% of the overall investment originated from Mexican companies while the remainder represented foreign investment. Recent discoveries, and the rapidly growing investment in our industry in the last few years, are proof of the true mining potential that the country holds.
Thanks to the development of new technology, Mexico remains ranked as one of the most important mining countries in the world. Maintaining such a position is a demonstration of the positive evolution of the industry and its efficient adaptation to technological advancements, particularly in exploration. Today, deposits that were discovered in the past but have not been entirely exploited are starting to receive increased exploration interest and investment.  With the technology that we have today we have been able once again to place ourselves as one of the main producers of minerals in the world.
Today we have more than eight hundred active exploration projects in Mexico, which is a positive prospect for the future of our country. New mines will continue to be opened, which as a result will generate increasing benefits for the country. Another important point to highlight is that mining activity is gradually expanding outside of the traditional mining states, with new important deposits being discovered and put into production.

Q: How does the mining industry impact Mexico’s economy?

A: In the past, mining has typically represented between 1.4% and 1.6 % of the country’s GDP, if you only take into account the production stage.  When you also include the broader mining process, that figure reaches 4.9% of GDP.  Regarding the generation of employment, we are lucky that in the last three years mining has directly created 67,000 new jobs. As for indirect jobs, 1.55 million were created in 2011 and in 2012 it is estimated that 1.68 million were created; it is now the case that two million Mexican families live from mining.

Q: What role does CAMIMEX play in the Mexican mining industry?

A: CAMIMEX is, according to the law of industrial chambers, the official consulting entity for the government on mining matters. In recent years, the Mexican Chamber of Mining has on average been affiliated with 125 of the country’s main mining companies, typically with those that are better organized and that invest the most in the sector. The members of CAMIMEX represent approximately 91% of the value and volume of the country’s mining production. With the exception of just a few small and medium companies, the largest and most influential mining companies are members of the Chamber, whether they are Mexican or foreign. Even though the affiliation is voluntary, throughout Mexico the mining industry is represented by CAMIMEX.

Q: What do you expect to be Mexico’s position in the global mining industry in five years’ time?

A:  The Mexican Mining Chamber strongly believes that if the industry continues to invest in the development and application of best practices in areas such as technology, training, and social and environmental sustainability initiatives, the growth of our industry will be exponential. We will continue increasing the productivity of our industry, thereby establishing a competitive advantage at a global level, which in return will see Mexico receiving a substantial proportion of global exploration investment. As a country, we will seek to continuously increase the value-adding capabilities, and proudly represent a responsible and sustainable mining industry.