The lower house of the Mexican parliament has voted in favor of a proposed overhaul of the country’s mining laws, which has been criticized by industry leaders. The changes include shortening mining concessions, tightening water permits, and requiring miners to give back at least 10% of their profits to communities.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has refused to grant new mining concessions since taking office in 2018, citing an excess granted by previous governments. The reforms could cost the country up to $9 billion in lost investment and 420,000 direct jobs, according to the head of Mexico’s mining chamber.
On Friday, the lower house voted 251 in favor and 209 against, advancing the overhaul to the senate after a fast track process. The proposed changes also mandate disclosure of the impacts of mining operations.
Last year, President Lopez Obrador advocated for the nationalization of the country’s lithium industry, preferring a state-run producer to mine the coveted battery metal, leading analysts to believe that this could deter investor interest in the mining sector.
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