The mining sector in Mexico has a relevant specific weight and represented 8.3% of the industrial GDP and 2.3% of the national GDP in 2020, according to data from INEGI (National Institute of Statistics and Geography). It is a sector that directly employs approximately 370,000 workers. It is considered, according to the Mining Chamber of Mexico, that 70% of the Mexican territory has the potential for extraction and only 30% has been explored.
Mexico is a powerful exporter of minerals worldwide, as well as a leading player in imports (imports have increased by more than 10% annually since 2017). As for exports, these have increased steadily since 2017 by 5.7%.
Mexico is the world’s leading producer of silver and a major exporter of 12 different minerals (including Fluorite, Celestia, Sodium Sulfate, Lead, Zinc, Gypsum, Salt, Copper…). Also, the Aztec country is one of the largest manufacturers of minerals, destined mainly for domestic use, but insufficient to satisfy the volume demanded for electricity, the metallurgical sector, cement and the chemical industry.
Investment in the sector during the López Obrador presidency has been reduced mainly due to the suspension of new concessions. Some of the mining companies in Mexico have decided to wait until there are further reductions in taxes and payments for exploration.
Mexico is analyzing strategies to increase the production of lithium and the exploitation of the large deposits located in the State of Sonora, in the Northwest of the country.
We indicate below the numbers of Local Production, exports and Imports of the mining sector in Mexico in recent years expressed in Billions of Dollars (1 Billion Dollars is equal to One Billion USD).
|Total Local Production||12.57||12.69||13.5||13.5|
* Estimate – Source: INEGI (National Statistics Institute)
Regarding the most outstanding subsectors, we point out the following:
- Metallurgical: Grupo México, Met-Met Peñoles and Fresnillo PLC are the main players, with a market share of 82%.
- Energy: Although Mexican mining companies prefer to connect to the electricity grid (when possible), mining companies far from the electrical infrastructure continue to use alternative energy, such as photovoltaic or diesel plants.
- Cement: The cement market in Mexico is controlled by a few companies, such as: Cemex, Cementos Fortaleza, Holcim, Cementos Moctezuma…
- Crystal: Above all, this sector is in demand from the automotive, electrical, beverage and construction sectors, which is supplied entirely by local production.
Opportunities currently exist in exploration services and drilling technology. Also, the discovery of lithium deposits has encouraged the Government of Mexico to support lithium production. In addition, other opportunity niches that should be pointed out include machinery for the mining sector, safety for workers, and especially technology: the Mexican mining sector is integrating technology on its way to the 4.0 standard, including solutions for faster supply chain, or keeping production costs low.