Mexico’s Senate passes new mining laws in an express session

May 1, 2023

A new mining law was approved by Mexico’s Senate in an express session that also saw the Senate pass a pair of constitutional reforms.

Reuters reported that representatives of the president's Morena party and its allies, nearly unanimously and with little debate, approved the laws in a fast-tracked process without opposition legislators present. Legislators convened outside the chamber's usual voting location after the opposition occupied the chamber to try to prevent the session.

The mining law shortens concessions in the mining sector to 30 years from 50, tightens water extraction permits, and requires some mining profits to be returned to local communities, among other modifications. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador promoted the initiative, but had originally proposed reducing concessions to 15 years.

Lopez Obrador has not granted any new mining concessions since he took office in the world's top silver producing country in late 2018. He has argued that too many permits were granted by previous governments to extract the country's resources, which include gold and copper.

The Canadian Ministry of Commerce expressed its concern that the new mining legislation could affect Canadian investment in Mexico's mining industry, where multiple Canadian companies operate.

The national mining chamber Camimex has warned such reforms could cost the country some $9 billion in investments and up to 420,000 jobs.



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