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Raúl Cruz Rí­os

MEXICO - Industry

Golden Touch

General Director, Servicio Geológico Mexicano (SGM)

Bio

Raúl Cruz Rí­os has a BSc in Geological Engineering from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). He began his career in the former Consejo de Recursos Minerales of Mexico, which is now the Servicio Geológico Mexicano (SGM), where he later became an Exploration Assistant Manager. He was also a professor of the School of Engineering at UNAM, teaching a course on Minerals Exploration Geochemistry. For over a decade he was Deputy Director of Mining Promotion in the Ministry of Economic Development in the State of Mexico, where he integrated a database of mining for the state. Raul Cruz was also appointed Executive Director of the Institute of Mining Development and Geological Studies of the State of Mexico (IFOMEGEM), position that he held for over 10 years until his promotion as the Director General of the SGM in 2013.

What role does the Servicio Geológico Mexicano (SGM) play in attracting investment to Mexico’s mining industry? The SGM provides reliable and high-quality geological, geochemical, and geophysical maps of the entire […]

What role does the Servicio Geológico Mexicano (SGM) play in attracting investment to Mexico’s mining industry?

The SGM provides reliable and high-quality geological, geochemical, and geophysical maps of the entire country’s territory. These maps are essential for mining companies planning to or exploring in Mexico, and they request consistent geological facts that make detailed data available for mining exploration. By producing this very important information, the SGM contributes to the country’s development and makes the establishment of mining projects possible. Currently, there are at least 10 different gold, silver, and zinc projects available for tender throughout the year. Every two years, México hosts one of the largest mining conventions and exhibitions in Acapulco, where the company takes part in activities by promoting and presenting projects. We also offer our services and expertise to both local and foreign investors at such events.

Could you tell us more about Mexico’s production activities?

Nowadays, we produce around 16 different minerals in Mexico. Traditionally, Mexico has been the largest producer of fluorspar in the world; we are in the top three in terms of production of silver and we have been a world reference regarding basic metals such as copper, lead, and zinc. Regarding gold production, we are not among the top producers because Mexico’s gold deposits are being developed.

What opportunities lie ahead for mining companies and investors that want to come to Mexico?

I believe that interest in mining and mineral exploitation activities in Mexico has always gone hand in hand with international prices. Around 10 years ago, mining activity in Mexico was rather small; however, over the last decade, the worldwide prices of minerals such as gold and silver have sky rocketed, and many companies have arrived in the country, especially Canadian companies. Therefore, investment in the Mexican mining industry also increased dramatically over the last few years, and in 2012, investment in the sector was around $6 billion.

What have been the landmark achievements in the mining industry in recent years?

Canada’s Goldcorp currently operates the Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas, an area that is expected to become Mexico’s largest open pit mine. According to the miner’s forecast, Peñasquito will produce an annual average of 500,000 ounces of gold, 28 million ounces of silver, 450 million pounds of zinc, and 200 million pounds of lead over a 22-year life. Only 30% of the territory of Zacatecas has currently been explored for mining resources, even though there is a history of vast silver deposits that goes back to the mid-16th century. Therefore, Zacatecas’ mineral wealth is nothing new. It is the largest silver-producing region in Mexico, with about 23% of its GDP linked to the mining industry. In addition, it is the second gold producing district in the country, just after Sonora. Zacatecas attracts large amounts of investment, and there are many ongoing projects in the area. Both of these areas, Zacatecas and Sonora, are attracting more and more investment and projects.

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