Mining concessions in Mexico

From 1992 to November 2018, the federal government of Mexico granted 65,534 mining concessions, of which, to date, 23,441 are in force.

The current concessions total an area of 15 million 703,673 hectares (ha), representing about 8% of the national territory.

Likewise, the Mexican State’s territory is made up of 195 million 623,960 hectares, of which, from 1992 to date, a little more than 117 million hectares have been granted for mining exploration and exploitation, representing nearly 60% of the national territory.

Until 1988, the percentage of area under concession for mining activities in Mexico was 1% of the national territory, while in 2019 it reached 10.64%.

To date, just over 8% of the total national territory is under concession.

Mining concessions

According to the current Mining Law, mining activity is carried out in three stages: exploration, exploitation and beneficiation.

Most of the 23,441 concessions in force are for subsoil exploration: 17,654 (75%) are in the exploration stage and 4,524 (19%) are in exploitation.

The remaining 1,267 (6%) are deferred, i.e., they are not carrying out any activity.

Although only 19% of the mining concessions are currently being exploited, it is evident, from the federal government’s perspective, the devastation of the places where mining activity is carried out, which is further aggravated when the current regulations do not have any procedure that indicates how the repair, restoration or remediation of the environmental, health, social and economic impacts caused should be carried out, nor a legal mechanism that regulates the actions that should be carried out when the operations end or when for any circumstance a mine must be closed or the exploration and exploitation works must be concluded.


Mexico is a major exporter of mining products; with a trade balance surplus of US$14.87 billion in 2021.

Mexican exports of minerals and ores to the world totaled 18.9 billion in the same year, growing 8.7% from 2017.

For their part, imports grew more than 12% annually since 2017.

Fifty-four percent of Mexico’s imports of minerals and ores come from the United States and reached 2.18 billion dollars in 2021, according to data from the Department of Commerce.

The United States is 100% dependent on imports of fluorspar, graphite, manganese and strontium from Mexico and other countries.


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