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MEXICO - Energy & Mining

Karen Flores

General Director, Mexican Mining Chamber (Camimex)

Bio

Karen Flores has 14 years of experience in the mining industry, working in both the public and private sectors. In 2019, she was appointed General Director of Camimex, the first woman to occupy this position in the history of the organization. She actively participates in various business organizations as counselor & president of the Committee on Inclusion and Women Building Businesses in the Chamber of Commerce of Canada in Mexico (CANCHAM). She is an active member of the Association of Mining Engineers, Metallurgists and Geologists of Mexico and part of the founding group of Mujeres WIM México, a subsidiary of Women in Mining International. She is currently a Director of the Canadian company GoGold.

"The Mexico Mining Chamber represents more than 90% of the mining-metallurgy national production."
Camimex, as the representative of the mining sector, continues to liaise with the relevant authorities and ensure the industry complies with regulations and environmentally friendly practices.
What is Mexico’s role in the international mining panorama?

Mexico is an eminent mining country. Camimex presented its annual report, which found that we represent over 90% of the mining-metallurgy value at a national level. And at the international level, Mexico ranks among the top 10 globally in the production of 17 minerals, being the number one silver producer and in the top 10 for gold and copper. Currently, Mexico is facing certain challenges mainly because of the pandemic and its effect on the global economy. However, mining has played a crucial role in economic reactivation.

In what ways does Camimex represent the interests of the mining industry?

The Mexico Mining Chamber represents more than 90% of the mining-metallurgy national production. We are governed by the chamber’s regulations, but are affiliated with private initiative. We have built a communication bridge between authorities, the government, and the business sector, protecting the interests of the mining industry. Some of our projects, framed by the president in the presentation of the annual report, are aimed at working together with authorities to create a work plan. We have talked to five governors from the country’s main mining states of Chihuahua, Sonora, Zacatecas, Durango, and Guerrero, and the plan will stimulate the sector, recover international competitiveness, and reactivate the mining industry. Some tax incentives are important as well, because the mining industry is subject to the highest taxation in the country. Over the past seven years, according to data from the Secretary of Finance and Public Credit, the mining industry has paid over MXN240 billion in taxes. This is equivalent to about seven times the budget of a state like Zacatecas, or more than three times the budget for a state such as Sonora. These taxes not only include income tax, which every industry in the country has to pay, but also additional rights that the mining industry has to pay. Our data on the industrial sector and the levels of taxation faced by each industry as a percentage of GDP reveals the mining industry contributing the most, at over 14%. This is solely in terms of income tax, and if we add the aforementioned rights the figure rises above 16%. Part of our projects includes trying to standardize information with the authorities for decision-making that supports the mining industry.

Apart from taxes, what else could you do to stimulate investments?

The reactivation of mining licenses would be fundamental. I also think legal certainty is essential, because without certainty investors are unwilling to operate mines in Mexico. These lost streams of national and international capital end up going to operations beyond Mexico.

What is your vision for Camimex?

The Mexico Mining Chamber is the chief entity representing the mining industry in the country. We represent responsible mining, operating to the highest safety and environmental standards, and we care about national development and the well-being of the more than 600 communities in which we operate. We employ over 3 million families with salaries 37% above the national average. This is an industry that is not just boosting Mexico’s economy but also improving the well-being and life quality of Mexicans. Camimex will continue these efforts going forward. We are a large mining family, working hand-in-hand with our partner organizations, associations that represent professionals, and the mining clusters representing the grocery chain. We all have the same vision of a responsible Mexican mining industry that can continue to grow and advance the country. One of the chamber’s projects has been to be open to information exchange. Our database is publicly available allowing people to appraise the statistics and do their own math based on official data. We will also continue with our work and reporting on the industry and its progress regarding sustainability in a spirit of full transparency.

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