Sunday, February 25, 2024

Lawmakers to analyze mining law reform with industry before making changes

Lawmakers will meet with mining sector representatives this week before making changes to the federal Mining Law, the president of the Senate’s mining committee said.

A senator with president-elect López Obrador’s Morena party last week presented a bill that would require mining companies to obtain the consent of indigenous communities in order to be granted concessions.

That initiative and other proposed legislative amendments that could negatively affect mining operations caused shares in Mexico’s two largest mining companies to fall by double-digit figures.

Under the proposed changes, the Secretariat of the Economy (SE) would have authority to declare certain areas unviable for mining activities and to cancel concessions and permits that have already been granted if they had a negative social impact.

In an interview with the news agency Reuters, Senator Geovanna Bañuelos, whose Labor Party is a coalition partner of Morena’s, said the planned meeting with mining representatives is intended to allay concerns about the proposals and taking all perspectives into account.

“We want them to be calm. We will not [move forward] without listening to everyone,” the mining committee head said. “We are open to weighing all arguments.”

Grupo México, the country’s largest mining company, said it is analyzing the proposed bills, adding that much of their content is already covered by existing regulations.

“The content of the reforms is not innovative or disruptive,” said Jorge Lazalde, general counsel for Grupo México. “Many of the things in this series of initiatives are already in the law.”

Lazalde added that it was normal for industry representatives to work with lawmakers to analyze and improve bills.

“As a guild, as an industry, as a sector through the Mining Chamber, we will work closely with Congress and reconcile points of view,” he said.

Source: Reuters (sp) 

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