Mexico’s mining industry is looking to resume operations in May amid the country entering, what the government calls, phase 3 of the COVID-19 containment measures as the transmission of the virus intensifies.
Javier Villarreal, national deputy secretary of work for the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM), asked the federal government to include mining activity in its list of essential services so that operations could resume next month, according to media reports.
On March 31, 2020, the Ministry of Health issued a decree requiring non-essential businesses, including mining, to temporarily suspend activities until April 30, 2020. However, last week the federal government said its health experts have recommended the country extend its current measures until May 30 in phase 3 of containment measures that aim to further reduce the movement of people in public spaces.
However, according to Villareal the mining industry provides raw materials that allow other industries, considered as essential to operate because of which the extraction and processing of metals and minerals should be allowed to operate.
Mexico’s mining production increased by 0.1pc in January this year, compared to the same month in 2019, driven by higher production of zinc, sulfur, silver, lead, cast, non-coking coal and gold. In contrast, the production of the coke, iron, copper and fluorite granules fell, according to the latest figures from the National Statistics Agency (Inegi).
Mining production dropped by 5.1pc between January and December 2019 compared to the prior year, due to lower demand for metallic and non-metallic minerals, Inegi said.