MEXICO CITY Mexico could
introduce mining royalty payments for the first time in its
history, a senior politician said this past week, noting that a
new mining bill is expected to be concluded no later than
The bill could either be a "new
mining law" or a "deep reform" of existing legislation,
Jesús Zambrano Grijalva, president of the board of Pact
For Mexicoan agreement between the countrys three
main political partiessaid at a press conference.
Basically, the bill will include
reforms to concessions and mining rights payments.
Miners operating in Mexico
currently pay a charge based mainly on the size of their mining
concessions, as well as regular corporate taxes. However, there
is no payment on the revenue generated from mining
"We consider that the way of
calculating, and therefore covering, the rights for the
exploitation and use of minerals in the subsoil is not
consistent and does not correspond to the generation of wealth
from such use," the Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as
PRI, said in the Pact For Mexico document.
Zambrano Grijalva didnt
disclose any planned royalty percentage. However, a March 12
proposal by PRI congressmen Adolfo Bonilla Gómez and
Marco Antonio Bernal Gutiérrez asked for a 4-percent
royalty on miners adjusted revenue.
The new rules will be ready by
the third quarter, with full implementation in the first half
of 2014, according to Pact For Mexicos website.
But such reforms have been
called "unviable" by mining companies and associations opposed
to the changes.
"One study on the possible
imposition of royalty payments on mineral production was
prepared ... (and) concluded the impossibility of this royalty
payment," Mexican mining chamber Camimex said in its 2012
There are 763 mining exploration
projects in Mexico and 320 mining companies operate in the
country, the Camimex report said.
Two of Mexicos largest
minersGrupo Mexico SAB de CV, Mexico City; and Cia.
Minera Autlan SAB de CV, San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo
Leon statecouldnt be reached for comment.
Mining investment in Mexico
totaled $1.3 billion91.5 percent from Mexican companies
and 8.5 percent from foreign enterprisesin the first
eight months of 2012, up 77.4 percent from the same period a
year earlier, according to Mexican government data.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Steel First.