Mining sector in Mexico

With an ongoing development in mining technologies and ever more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) working in the country, the Mexican mining sector is the fourth largest source of GDP accounting for US$15.4 billion.

Market overview

Mexico is a top 10 world producer for silver (world 1st), fluorite, gold, bismuth, celestite, sodium sulphate, wollastonite, lead, molybdenum, diatomite, cadmium, graphite, baryte, salt, gypsum, manganese and zinc. Aluminium

Currently, Mexico has a US$7.8 billion surplus in the mining trade balance, and an estimated US$7.65 million is being invested in 2012. It is expected that by the end of 2012, investment in Mexican mining will have reached US$21 billion in only five years.

According to Behre Dolbear, the country is also ranked 5th in lowest risks for mining. FDI worldwide has Mexico 4th for free market conditions and 6th for political support in investment. By the end of 2011, Mexico hosted 320 national and international companies, working on 763 projects throughout the territory.

Mexico ranks fourth worldwide in attracting investments in the mining sector. A stable political environment, trained and skilled workforce and sound regulatory structure combined with Mexico’s location adjacent to the US have attracted more than 200 foreign companies.

Main local market players include:

  1. Grupo México

  2. Peñoles

  3. Grupo Ferrominero – Autlán

  4. Frisco

  5. Minas de Bacis

  6. Materias Primas

  7. Fresnillo

  8. Las Encinas

  9. Grupo Acerero del Norte

Main foreign players include:

  1. Pan American Silver (Canada)

  2. New Gold (Canada)

  3. Farallon Resources (Canada)

  4. Agnico Eagle (Canada)

  5. Kings Minerals (Canada)

  6. Frontera Copper (Canada)

  7. Arcelor Mittal (India)

  8. Minco PLC (UK)

  9. Teck Cominco (Canada)

  10. Alamos Gold (Canada)

  11. Gammon Lake (Canada)

  12. Constellation (US)

  13. Hecla Mining (US)

  14. Silver Eagle (Canada)

  15. Goldcorp (Canada)

According to FIFOMI (Mexican Mining Development Trust) only 30% of the national deposits have been explored. There still remain 70% of the deposits to be developed.

Mexico has a strong mining base, balanced environmental policies and well tested mineral tenure laws. In addition, a reasonable infrastructure is in place including a trained/skilled workforce. According to the 2009 edition of “Ranking of countries for Mining Investment” Mexico occupies the fifth place worldwide for low risk mining investment after Canada, Australia, Chile and United States.

Industry Forecaster, BMI expects the Mexican mining industry to grow at an annual average rate of 3.2% between 2008-2012, lagging a little behind the economy as a whole, which is projected to grow by 3.6%. By 2012 mining GDP will exceed US$45billion. Mexico is a country with a rich mining history and is listed amongst the world’s largest metal producers. Mexico also has major mineral exploration. Although best known for its production of silver, (over 10 billion ounces have been produced to date,) the country also mines significant quantities of copper, gold, lead and zinc.

Mexico has 11 giant deposits of silver, three of copper, two of molybdenum, five of zinc, one of lead, one of manganese and one of fluorite. These deposits place Mexico inside the 10% of the biggest deposits of its kind in the world.

Key opportunities

As a result of new federal programmes in place, all sustainability projects related to mining are becoming increasingly interesting to national companies. These include among others:

  • Alternative ways for energy generation.

  • Environmental impact studies.

  • Human community impact studies.

  • Low carbon projects.

  • Reforestation.

  • Water management.

  • Environmental audits and certifications.

  • Gas emission and residual management.

Also, a high percentage of heavy industry mining equipment is procured from abroad. Main opportunities for mining equipment manufacturers inlcude:

  • Robotics and excavators.

  • Digitalisation and satellites.

  • Biotech / Bioleaching processes

  • Safety for coal mines.

  • Alternative reactive for gold production processes.

  • Truck and excavator simulators.

  • Steam generation obtained from production processes.

Latest export opportunities – Mining

Latest export opportunities – Mexico

Getting into the market

Almost all procurement is done privately and through agents in this sector. Culturally, Mexico has a personal-relationship orientation. UK companies are advised to visit the market and establish good contact with key executives inside their potential customers to increase their probability of success in doing business.

In general, the cost-quality relation is determinant in bid decisions. As in most markets, flexibility customer service, adherence to schedules and specifications and long-term commitment are the key to winning customers.

More about doing business in Mexico


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

Contact your local international trade team

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events – Mining

Major Events

MINE expo International

September 24-26, 2012

X Seminario Minero – SONORA

October 23-26, 2012

International Iron Mining Convention – GUERRERO

November 7-10, 2012

Mexican Forum for the Medium/ Small Mining Companies- DURANGO

November 15-16, 2012

Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Countries: Mexico
Export Action Plan