Canada remains a friend to Mexico and will respond to policy not speculation, James Gordon Carr, Canadian Minister of Natural Resources, told the Mexico Mining Forum 2017 in Mexico City on Wednesday, in response to concerns over US President Donald Trump’s threats to renogiate NAFTA.
“The friendship and history between Canada and Mexico is strong, and the future will be even better,” Carr told the forum at the Hotel Sheraton Maria Isabel. “At a time of change and uncertainty, we will navigate the special relationship that has endured the tests of time.”
Carr pointed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would be signed later in the day between the two government as evidence of their close relationship. The memorandum for the mining sector will cover geoscience, clean innovation and CSR and will promote sharing best practices in water management and the use of renewable energy.
Together, Mexico and Canada are positioned to lead the world’s mining industry, despite the uncertainty in the market, he said. “The opportunities are real and the moment is now.”
During his presentation, the minister pointed to Mexico as a strong partner for Canada’s mining industry. The Latin American country is the world leader in silver production and in the top 10 for 16 other minerals. “As of today, there are 136 mining firms operating in Mexico from Sonora to Chiapas, with more than US$19.4 million of investment. There is no better mining partner than Canada. The Toronto Stock Exchange represents more than half of the equity for financing the industry and hosts more than 60 percent of publicly traded mining companies.”
Responding to a question on Canada’s involvement in small-scale mining investment, Carr was equally positive. “I would be very surprised if Canadian entrepreneurs were not interested in small-scale investment in Mexico,” he said.
Carr also stressed the importance of creating a good economy and a cleaner future for generations to come. “We came across this continent by chance, but we are partners by choice and we must achieve the prosperity we all want, by protecting the environment we all cherish,” he said. “The low carbon economy is the new frontier and will bring along new opportunities.” The Canadian government and companies are investing in developing clean technologies that drive productivity and work in harmony with the planet. The Canadian brand is known for sustainable mining developments and has earned a reputation for promoting corporate social responsibility.
In discussing the MoU, the minister pointed to the need to strengthen bonds with indigenous communities and to demand transparency, accountability and clear regulatory regimes that will guarantee the well-being of the industry’s players. Encouraging sustainability and CSR within the mining industry will create a ripple effect through the economy, creating good jobs, enhancing quality of life and increasing the competitiveness of both countries. “Together we will lay the foundations for the mines of tomorrow, jobs and clean growth for generations to come,” Carr said.
Canada seeks to expand opportunities as well as strengthening existing relationships with the Mexican government and the mining sector through these precarious times, he said. “Together we must send the signal to the people, that Canada and Mexico are friends and that we will build a future together.”