MEXICO CITY/TORONTO – Mexico’s tax agency is holding over $360 million in tax rebates owed to six Canadian miners, including $230 million to Goldcorp Inc, according to sources and official documents seen by Reuters, escalating the situation into a showdown between the Mexican government and Canadian mining firms operating there.
In a string of meetings, Canadian officials have pressed Mexico to fix the problem, which hamstrings mining companies’ ability to invest in operations and is particularly difficult for smaller, cash-strapped miners and explorers, people familiar with the matter said.
Vancouver-based Goldcorp declined to comment on its outstanding refund, which represents 142 percent of its 2016 net profit and 6 percent of its full-year revenue. Goldcorp, the world’s No. 3 gold miner by market value, is owed the largest amount, according to documents seen by Reuters, followed by Torex Gold Resources, a small, Toronto-based miner which began commercial production at its Mexico mine last year and is waiting on a refund of some $66.5 million.
“It’s damaging the ability to reinvest the dollars in assets that actually pay real tax,” said Torex chief executive Fred Stanford, who is working with Mexican authorities to resolve Torex’s 2015 submissions, but declined to comment on the refund amount.
While several companies said that refund delays began to grow longer two or three years ago, exact amounts of withheld refunds have not been previously reported.
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