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CESCA

MEXICO - Energy & Mining

Marcos G. Monroy Fernández

Founding Partner & General Manager, CESCA

Bio

Marcos G. Monroy Fernández has been CEO of CESCA since 2012. He obtained a PhD in geology and raw minerals from the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Geologie Appliquée de Nancy (France). After his PhD, he joined the University of San Luis Potosí­ (UASLP) in Mexico as a research professor, where he participated in the creation of the minerals engineering and environmental sciences graduate programs. He has been a member of different commissions for scientific and technological evaluation, as well as technical committees for environmental standards.

"The opportunities regarding the environment for the consulting sector mainly concern meeting the requirements that environmental authorities demand of companies to issue permits."
CESCA views numerous opportunities in the consulting sector related to social impact evaluations and environmental impact assessments for projects within the country.
What opportunities have you identified in this market regarding the environment?

The opportunities regarding the environment for the consulting sector mainly concern meeting the requirements that environmental authorities demand of companies to issue permits. That is the first step in which we are involved. Increasingly, the environmental aspect will also be accompanied by social aspects. A project cannot be considered if the environmental and social aspects have not been covered and authorized. This has meant that, for example, an environmental impact evaluation is accompanied by a social impact evaluation. It has been an obligation in the energy sector to comply with both requirements for several years now. In mining, although the presentation is not explicit, a social impact evaluation is already embodied in both the National Water Law and Sustainable Forest Development Law, and the social aspect must be considered.

How is the sector reacting to these new requirements?

The sector is adapted for that and it has always been ready for it. It has never been a limitation for the mining or energy sector. They are used to it since they must always be in total understanding with the communities where they are located. An example concerns the acquisition or rental of land. Companies in the sector try to maintain an excellent relationship with their local communities and offer them support and jobs to the marginalized. Normally, the energy and mining sectors are located in marginalized communities, and since the government does not provide support, the support instead comes from resident companies.

Regarding nearshoring, does CESCA see an opportunity to collaborate with international companies looking to enter the Mexican market?

Investors are seeking companies in Mexico that already have a certain expertise in authorizations or relationships with government agencies in terms of permits. Now, we are talking about environmental aspects that are more closely related to the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), though there are also relations with the municipalities. We enjoy good relations with the National Water Commission (CONAGUA), the National Institute of Anthropology and History, and the Ministry of Communications and Transportation. CESCA acts as consultants and is open to new opportunities. For example, nearshoring is developing notably for the metal mechanics and automotive industry.

What main projects did CESCA collaborated on in 2023?

We are currently collaborating with a new mining project, a Canadian investment set to be installed in Zacatecas. CESCA has coordinated the manifestation of environmental impact with Canadian consultants from several countries, Mexican companies, and universities. It is one of the most complete environmental impact studies that Mexico will see, where all social aspects, water, geology, and investment are considered. In addition, we work extensively with Grupo Mexico companies and have participated in some tenders, especially for environmental supervision issues. With Grupo Mexico, we are evaluating compliance with environmental authorizations of some of its transmission line projects and with the copper smelter in 2024. In addition, there is also a copper supervision project in Buenavista. And meanwhile, we continue the environmental supervision project of the BMW solar energy plant in San Luis Potosí.

What are your predictions from the forthcoming elections?

Based on the debates from the last elections, both federal and presidential, environmental aspects were not given the attention they truly require. No programs have led to the proposal of solid environmental ideas. Now, with the reelection of the president and several state governments, the environmental issue is a critical one given the threat of climate change. For example, several states had no rainy season and are still suffering from a long drought today. Such issues must be reviewed and analyzed well to assess how best to address them. There has not been as much emphasis on the issue of climate change as there should be, and both the states and the federation should correct this oversight. We must continue to develop scientific knowledge to make better use of related models for the prediction of future conditions.

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