Reforms the mining regime for enhanced environmental and social protection

08 May 2023

On 8 May the reform to the Mining Law was published in the Official Gazette (Diario Oficial de la Federación). It includes changes to mining concessions and water rights. The main changes are:

Mining concessions: - Concessions will be granted through public bidding, eliminating "free land" grants. - Mining concessions will be prohibited in areas without water availability or where the population is at risk. - Concession duration is reduced to 30 years, with the possibility of two 25-year extensions.

Rights conferred by mining concessions: - Expropriation rights for mining exploitation are eliminated, requiring negotiation and consent from landowners. - Preferential rights to use water from mines and obtain water concessions are removed.

Environmental and social protection: - Prior consultation with indigenous or Afro-Mexican communities is required for concessions affecting their land. - A mandatory Mine Restoration, Closure, and Post-closure Program is introduced, with a guarantee requirement. - Concessions may be revoked for environmental reasons after a three-month opportunity for preventive or remediation actions. - Concession holders are responsible for mining and metallurgical waste.