Mining occupies less land and water than the rest of the economic activities in Sonora

In Sonora, the most important mining state in Mexico, mining only occupies 0.12% of the state territorywhile 83% is used for livestock, 11.7% for agriculture, 4.14% for industry and 0.21% for aquaculture, reported Leonardo Taylor Padilla, general director of mining for the state of Sonora.

In the Environment and Mining panel moderated by Luis Felipe Medina Aguirre, vice president of Agnico Eagle Mexico, at the First Seminar “Future of Investment in Mexican Mining”, the official clarified that in Sonora there are 4,449 mining concessions in force that represent the 30% of the state territory, but only projects are under development that occupy 0.12% of Sonoran land.

He said that, contrary to the narrative that affects mining, in Sonora the mining industry only occupies 2.1% of the water consumed in the state, while agriculture uses 38%, 22% goes to public supply for public use. human; livestock uses 28% and industry 9.9 percent.

Said At the national level, water consumption in mining is 0.9% and in Sonora, 2.1%, and this is due, he said, to the fact that three of the largest companies operate in Sonora, not only in Mexico but in the world.

The general director of Mining Development of the Ministry of Economy of the federal government, Rafael Jabalera Batista, reported that this agency will be responsible for carrying out consultations with indigenous communities to determine whether or not the installation of a mining unit is feasible.

Jabalera Batista explained that progress is being made in the legislation for the execution of the indigenous consultation and, initially, there is already a protocol that will not only serve for the indigenous consultation, but also for the issue of concessions.

He specified: “We need the sector to move forward. We are creating a department or a group with its own staff and we are forming a new department that will be in charge of consultations. For this purpose, we are in contact with the ILO so that it validates some aspects of the issue, ”he explained.

In this sense, Nallely Flores Rodríguez of the environmental legal management, Aguas, explosives and contentious administrative services Peñoles, indicated that the mining industry faces problems for the application of the consultation because there is no indigenous consultation law and neither a catalog of the communities natives.

Juan Pablo Gudiño Gual, partner and director of Igual Consultores, commented that consultations are here to stay, but it is necessary to have a law that says what consultation is, in which case it is prior, what should be understood as free, and how much must report. “In addition, companies must be clear about their role in the consultations, not only provide information, but also accompany the authority and be a fundamental part of the negotiation table.”

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