Mining investment in Mexico could reach record levels

October 31, 2012

While speaking at a mining conference in the capital of the central mining state of Queretaro, Mexico, Grupo Mexico president Xavier Garcia de Quevedo was one of many mining executives who said he expects investment in Mexico’s mining sector to reach an all-time high this year of $7.6 billion, up 36 percent from 2011. Garcia de Quevedo also said he expects that number to keep rising in 2013 despite a decline in international prices for most metals, Dow Jones Newswire reported.

Grupo Mexico estimates its investments in Mexico will increase about 40 percent next year compared with 2012.

The company’s total mining investments will be $1.76 billion this year, compared with $715 million in 2011. About $1.05 billion of the 2012 investments were in Mexico. Grupo Mexico also has mining operations in Peru and the U.S. Grupo Mexico aims to ramp up copper production in the coming years.

Company officials said Mexico has become more of a mining country than agricultural, as it is often perceived, and that the investments it receives widely benefit its economy. They said they hope the incoming administration of President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto, who is set to take office Dec. 1, will uphold current mining policies.

Humberto Gutierrez, president of the Mexican Mining Chamber and chairman of mining company Minera Frisco SAB, said despite lower prices this year for precious metals besides gold, prices are still high relative to past years. The value of mine production in Mexico is expected to rise this year as increased output offsets the effect of lower prices, he said. Minera Frisco expects to invest about the same amount of money in mining next year as this year.

The company reported capital expenditures of about $575 million in the first nine months of this year.

Rafael Rebollar, director of metals and chemicals for Mexican mining company Industrias Penoles, said his company expects investment to stay steady or increase slightly in 2013, with much of it allocated to exploration activities. This year, Penoles invested $1.1 billion in mining, compared with $960 million last year. Penoles is the parent company of Fresnillo PLC, the world's biggest primary producer of silver.

Ramon Davila, general director of the Canadian mining company First Majestic Silver Corp., said he also expects investment in Mexico to stay strong, noting that the company “remains optimistic about silver prices.”



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