TULUM, Mexico – In a recent development that has significant implications for Tulum’s environment and infrastructure, the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) has officially denied Cemex’s request for the extraction of stone materials within the Tulum region. This permit, which Cemex had applied for only a few weeks ago, sought to enable the cement giant to extract stone materials for use in its concrete production.
The decision to deny Cemex’s permit request was announced in the Semarnat’s Ecological Gazette, marking a crucial moment in the ongoing debate over environmental conservation and industrial expansion in Tulum. The cement company had submitted an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as part of its application process, indicating its willingness to invest three million pesos if the permit was granted.
Cemex had identified a site spanning approximately six hectares in the community of Francisco Uh May, located in the western part of the Tulum municipality, bordering neighboring Yucatán state. Their proposed project aimed to exploit dry stone materials through a project named “Establishment and Operation of a Material Bank with Crusher and Screening Plant.” This initiative was centered on the extraction, exploitation, and utilization of soil resources, with a particular focus on stone materials.
It is worth noting that both Cemex and Holcim are key suppliers of concrete for the federal Tren Maya project in this part of Quintana Roo. Cemex’s desire to establish a stone material mining operation in Tulum was closely tied to its ambition to further stimulate real estate development in the region. This would align with the Mexican government’s endeavors to construct the railway project and the International Airport in Tulum.
The permit application was submitted to Semarnat on September 8th and, surprisingly, processed and rejected in record time. This swift decision highlights the environmental concerns and potential repercussions associated with large-scale mining operations in Tulum.
Notably, Cemex, along with other industry players, had previously relied on stone material extraction activities conducted by Calica in the southern part of Playa del Carmen. However, this specific extraction site has become embroiled in an ongoing international legal dispute.
The denial of Cemex’s permit request underscores the increasing importance of environmental preservation and sustainable development in Tulum. This decision aligns with the broader efforts to balance economic growth with ecological responsibility in the region.
Semarnat’s rejection of Cemex’s permit request sends a clear message about the prioritization of environmental conservation in Tulum. The decision reflects the growing recognition of the need to strike a delicate balance between industrial development and preserving the natural beauty and biodiversity that make Tulum a unique and cherished destination.