Canadian mining company hopes Liberals will intervene in tax dispute with Mexico – by Lee Berthiaume (National Post – June 23, 2016)

Ottawa Citizen – OTTAWA — A Toronto-based mining company locked in a dispute with Mexico’s tax authorities is hoping the Liberal government will raise its case when Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto visits Canada next week.

The government has indicated it doesn’t plan to get involved. In an email, Global Affairs Canada spokesman Austin Jean said the government is following the case closely, but added: “This dispute is a private matter between an investor and the Mexican government.”

However, the head of Toronto-based Primero Mining Corp. says the government needs to press Mexican authorities to ensure Canadian investors are treated fairly — or there could be more such disputes in the future.

“The company feels, and the business community in general feels, (the Liberal government) should bring the issue to Mexico as a real issue,” Primero chief executive Ernest Mast said in an interview Wednesday. “From a Canadian point of view, this could be the tip of the iceberg.” The Mexican Embassy in Ottawa could not be immediately reached for comment.

The central question in the dispute is how the silver the company produces at its San Dimas mine should be taxed. A Mexican court in 2012 ruled that Primero should pay taxes based on its actual revenues. Now, however, authorities want it to be taxed based on the actual price of silver.

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