Mexican powerhouse Grupo Mexico is mulling over the idea of entering the rare earth metals sector. The company, which is the third largest copper producer in the world, could possibility begin operations in Sonora and Chihuahua states later this year.
Recent reports conducted by universities in Mexico have shown economically viable rare earth deposits in the States of Sonora and Chihuahua as well as further south in Oaxaca and Chiapas. Scientists discovered concentrations of 10 to 15 percent in Oaxacam; four to five percent in Hidalgo; and four percent in Coahuila, Sonora, Sinaloa and Durango.
Rare earth metals are becoming increasingly important in a wide variety of industries including green technology, consumer electronics and high-tech applications. At the moment 95 percent of the world’s earth metals come from China.
According to Mexico’s Geological Survey (SGM), global demand for rare earth metals in 2016 will hit 160,000 tons. China is expected to produce upwards of 80 percent of that demand, leaving ample space for Grupo to enter.
The possibility of mining for rare earth metals represents a great economic prospect for Mexico as the country has been looking for an optimal way of providing Mexico with a high technology sector.
There are currently only two sites in existence that mine for rare earth metals. One of them is Lynas Corp’s Mount Weld mine in Australia, and the other is in California, owned by Molycorp.
The mining industry in Mexico is the country’s fourth largest industry in dollar income, behind automotives, oil and electronics.
Grupo Mexico is engaged in exploration and operations in the mining-metallurgic industry. The company has operations around the world including United States, Peru and Chile.