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Chihuahua is at the heart of the conuntry's mining sector

Article - November 6, 2012
More than one third of the workforce in the Mexican state of Chihuahua is employed in the mining sector, where several multinational mining companies have set up bases.
GOLD AND SILVER DOMINATE THE MARKET, BUT LEAD AND ZINC ARE ALSO KEY TO CHIHUAHUA’S IMPORTANT MINING INDUSTRY
Legal reforms in the 1990s allowed foreign ownership within the mining industry. Investors poured in, closed mines were reopened, and the economy ministry in 2006 said that 204 mining companies with direct foreign investment were involved in 390 projects.

Chihuahua has Mexico’s largest mineral reserve of lead, zinc, silver, mercury and copper, and the third largest gold reserve.

Chihuahua Governor Cesar Duarte is proud to mention that Canadian and Mexican investors such as Grupo Carso and Industrias Peñoles have entered the mining industry with projects valued at over $1 billion (£623 million).

A century ago, the then-president Porfirio Diaz had established peace through repression to ensure the economy, especially in the field of mine excavation by foreign companies.

It is estimated that in the past 400 years, some 40 million ounces of gold and up to 2 billion ounces of silver have been produced in Chihuahua state.

Mining has been a pillar of Chihuahua’s economy for centuries, and many of the state’s towns were founded as a result of local mining activity.

Canadian mining company AuRico Gold agreed to sell its key Ocampo mine and several other projects under development in Chihuahua and Nayarit states to Minero Frisco for $750 million. Minero Frisco belongs to Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, considered the world’s richest person. 

Mexico’s mining output reached very high levels in 2010, when it became the world’s most productive silver region, providing 19 per cent of silver mined globally that year. The most productive gold and silver mine in Chihuahua’s history is the Guadalupe y Calvo mine. The Sierra Madre Occidental range, which runs through part of Chihuahua, is regarded as one of the world’s most prolific gold and silver mining districts.

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