Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has called on Canada’s government to start inducing some Canadian mining companies to pay their outstanding tax debts in Mexico.

 

The miners would rather plead their cases before an international tribunal, but President Lopez Obrador—who neither disclosed the names of the companies nor the amounts they owe—prefers the Canadian government’s intervention to avoid a messy dispute.

 

There are about 168 Canadian mining companies operating in Mexico, according to information from the Mexican Geological Service. 

 

Lopez Obrador also said Toyota, Wal-Mart, IBM, and Mexican company FEMSA are in the process of resolving their tax issues with his government.

 

Neither the Tax Administration Service nor the Canadian embassy in Mexico responded to queries from Davis Index.

 

This is the second time that President Lopez Obrador has quarrelled with miners. In December 2019, he said Mexico wouldn’t grant new mining concession titles because it wanted to avoid market speculation, and that the country had enough concessions to explore and exploit. The country has around 200mn hectares that contain mines, of which 117.6mn hecatres have been granted to mining companies over the past 36 years. The last five administrations have granted 65,534 mining concession, according to López Obrador.

 

Mexico’s mining production could decline by 17pc this year because operations were suspended for two months when the pandemic began.

 

The total value of mining production is expected to reach MXN203bn ($9.4bn) this year, down from MXN244bn in 2019, according to the Mexican Mining Chamber.

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