Last week was a mixed one for miners in Mexico as CAMIMEX reported an increase in investment and the country climbed six places in the Fraser Institute’s Investment Attractiveness ranking. But this was overshadowed by reports of social unrest at First Majestic’s Zacatecas mines and the suspension of Argonaut’s explosives permits for La Colorada. On the international front, there are mixed predictions for the future of zinc and the Responsible Mining Foundation says the biggest miners are not making enough efforts in CSR.
Also, don’t forget to check out our interview of the week with John-Mark Staude, who discusses exploration attractiveness and taxation in Mexico.
Ready to dig in? Here’s last week’s news:
CAMIMEX says miners in Mexico invested more than US$4.6 billion in 2017, a yearly increase of 23.4 percent. Still, this figure is below the chamber’s projections of US$5.5 billion. Mexico also climbed six places to 44th position in the Fraser Institute’s Investment Attractiveness Index.
But the Federal Auditor (ASF) says that only 0.8 percent of Mexico’s concession holders currently pay the Derecho Especial (7.5 percent on all metals profits) and 32.4 percent pay the Derecho Extraordinario (an extra 0.5 percent on precious metals gold, silver and zinc).
Grupo México’s Buenavista del Cobre mine places 4th in Mining Global’s Top 10 Copper Mines ranking. But the operator want to move up the list to take 3rd position, and thinks Siemens can help it do this.
First Majestic is in hot water again. Last month a spill was reported at San Dimas in Durango (property of First Majestic since its takeover of fellow Canadian operator Primero Mining), and now community unrest in Zacatecas is threatening operations. The Civil Movement of Chalchihuites is demanding the government cancel FM concessions in the region due to environmental damage.
Argonaut Gold has had its explosives permit suspended over claims it should never have been awarded in the first place. The operator does not expect this to affect operations at La Colorada , Sonora, with sufficient stockpiles until a hearing scheduled on Apr. 16, where it expects the issue to be resolved.
Light at the end of the tunnel for Torex as El Limón-Guajes’ blockade is finally lifted and legal challenges revoked.
Sun River Gold announces plans to begin drilling program at El Oro concession in State of Mexico.
A Mexican court approved Odyssey Marine Exploration and its subsidiary Exploraciones Oceánicas’ permit for the Don Diego deep sea mining project off Baja California Sur. This has sparked local fisherman that depend on the area to begin protests.
Zinc is set to be a “star performer” according to Reuters’ GFMS report. But new supply from Australia, South Africa, Cuba, Greenland and Saudi Arabia could jeopardize its bull run. Read our analysis on the implications of metals shortages amid a growing population.
Bad news for Mexico? Chile is looking to revise its mining code to make exploration easier in the country.
The Responsible Mining Foundation found that the biggest mining companies need to improve their human rights records and take more care of the environment. One key issue is the lack of protection for women in the industry, said the report.