The country of Mexico is the world's largest producer of silver and is ranked among the top 12 countries worldwide in terms of production of 17 other types of minerals. According to The Silver Institute, a nonprofit international association that serves as the industry's voice in understanding silver, Mexico produced 152.8 million ounces of silver in 2011.
In 2011 the annual average price of silver was $35.12. The world's supply of silver produced was a record-breaking 761.6 million ounces in 2011, with Mexico producing 20% of the world's supply.
In 2011, the industry generated total revenues of $25.39 billion, more than double the $11.87 billion in tourism industry produced. The mining industry represents 4.6 percent of Mexico's GPD and for the last six years has been on an aggressive growth trend, despite the global economic downturn. Furthermore, a total of over 26,000 mining licenses were granted since 2006, and employs over 300,000 people directly and one million indirect jobs.
- Mexican legislation encourages investments in the sector. The 1993 Mining Law (Ley Minera) opened up new areas to foreign investment previously limited to Mexican financing. It also removed the requirement for foreign capital investments to be associated with Mexican capital in a proportion of 49-51%, respectively.
- Openness to foreign direct investment. Any company from around the world is encouraged to invest in the country.
- Obtaining mining licenses is typically a quick process. Typically takes between six to eight months for a license to be granted to mine in Mexico, as opposed to North America, where it can take between from five to 10 years to be granted approval to mine.
- Labour costs are lower. Labour is 60% to 80% lower as compared to other South American countries.
- A long history of mining. Mining in Mexico dates back to over 500 years, before the Spanish conquest and colonization, which is one reason why the workforce in the Mexican mining industry is typically highly skilled.
- Availability of public mining information. Delegated by the Mexican government, the Mexican Geological Survey and Ministry of Economy makes public all information relevant to mining including exploration surveys, historical mining information, suppliers, land ownership and much more.
- Supporting investment. The Ministry of Economy's Mining Promotion Trust (FIFOMI) is a key player supporting mining in Mexico. In 2009, the FIFOMI helped capitalize micro-, small- and medium-sized mining companies, as well as the sector's production chain, with loans worth USD$510 million, which is 20% higher than in 2008, in addition to offering training and technical assistance to more than 8,000 companies.
- Canada is a key player. Of more than 730 exploration projects currently carried out by 232 companies, 70% are undertaken with investment coming from other countries: 75% from Canada, 15% from the US and the remaining from countries including the UK, Australia and Japan.
Market Day in Zacualpan, where the band plays in front of the stature of a miner, located in the town center