FT.com’s “Beyond Brics” published an article about the growing popularity of Mexico’s mining industry and why they name it “a sector to watch.”
Latin America has been an increasingly hostile place for international mining companies in recent years. From Peru to Panama, blood has been spilled in protests inspired by a potent mix of resource nationalism, indigenous rights and environmentalism.
Mexico has not been entirely without the mayhem. But the few protests have been muted, nor have they spiraled out of control.So, given the nation’s mineral potential and the relative restraint of any anti-mining movement, investment is flooding into Mexico, according to Sergio Almazán, head of the country’s mining chamber. This year Almazán and his chamber say mining companies are expected to invest about $7.6bn this year, up from $5.6bn last year, itself a 69 per cent increase on 2010.
Mexico has a long history of mining — just ask the Aztecs and the Conquistadors. Fresnillo is the world’s leading producer of silver, while Grupo Mexico, with mines not only in Mexico but also Peru and the United States, is the third largest producer of copper.
Carlos Slim is also an increasingly important player. Minera Frisco, owned by the world’s richest man, turned out substantial increases of silver and gold in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, a growing number of foreign companies are getting in on the act. They include Canadian gold miners Goldcorp, Agnico Eagle and AuRico. A sector to watch.