Hoping to give certainty to industry participants, Undersecretary of Mining at the Ministry of Economy Francisco Quiroga showcased the government’s strategy to work toward a mining sector that can work harmonically to contribute to the country’s pacification and reconciliation. “We can collaborate toward peace, justice and prosperity, which will be the legacy of the new administration,” he said on Wednesday during the keynote speech of Mexico Mining Forum 2019 at the Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel in Mexico City.
Quiroga opened his presentation acknowledging that perception regarding the national mining industry is taking on negative connotations. To fix this, the new administration at the Undersecretariat has established an industry policy that includes all players and has a long-term vision focused on innovation, diversification and inclusion. According to Quiroga, the Undersecretariat of Mining will be at the helm of this transformation, acting as “a leader and facilitator for the industry and as a mediator when needed in an honest and impartial manner.”
All public industry agencies will have a role in strengthening the national industry, said Quiroga. The Directorate General of Mining, for example, will work on fixing its processes and working toward digitalization. “Our response times are an embarrassment and an obstacle in project development and termination,” he says. “By the end of the administration, we want full digitalization of paperwork, which will help us tackle the backlog in concessions.”
Quiroga also mentioned the Mexican Geological Survey, which he says will become an industry authority with credibility, and the Mining Trust Fund, which will have the mandate of ensuring funds reach communities, thus maximizing the opportunity of new projects being welcomed.
Among its general goals, the Undersecretariat wants to implement new models based on best industry practices and sustainability. Quiroga highlights Canadian TSM standards as a way to improve the industry in Mexico, as well as closer collaboration with communities to help projects move forward and make mining a driver for economic development. “Even when we get a ‘yes’ from communities, that sometimes turns into a ‘no’ due to lack of communication and participation,” he said.
The Undersecretary was not afraid to address the elephant in the room as well, saying that the country must break the stigma regarding mining and the ideas on lack of safety. Under the new administration, Quiroga says the government will work to eliinate fatalities or natural disasters caused by mining activities, mainly through direct and honest communication between government dependencies and with the private sector. “We want to look forward and find solutions to the industry’s problems, creating alliances with the private sector and with other government institutions and consolidating wills and mindsets,” he said. “Our sole objective is to boost the mining industry for the benefit of the country.”