Established in 1992, Mexico’s Mining Law outlines requirements for the exploration, exploitation and beneficiation of minerals, establishing public ownership of mineral deposits. Amongst other substances, radioactive minerals are excluded from its scope. The law specifies procedures for granting concessions, concessionaires’ duties, conditions that can lead concessions to be cancelled or withdrawn, related regulations, right of inspections and penalties for non-compliance.
Its application is vested in the Federal Executive through the Ministry of Economy. The Geological Survey of Mexico, a semi-independent government body responsible for exploration of the land, is tasked with supporting its implementation by promoting the best possible utilisation of mineral resources and by generating basic geological information about the national territory. The Geological Survey shall also assess the environmental and geological risk of mineral extraction during exploration and abide by the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection and its Regulations. Concessionaires are subject to the general provisions and technical standards applicable to the mining metallurgical industry in matters of mine safety and ecological balance and environmental protection.
Article 32, in Chapter 4, outlines that when the price or demand for a mineral drops and results in a temporary lack of profitability of exploitation in general, the Ministry of Economy may reduce the minimum investment required or the value of the mineral products to be obtained or grant an extension for compliance.