Since 1990, as a result of neoliberal reforms, there has been a mining boom in Mexico, unprecedented since colonial times and triggered mainly by foreign investments. Since year 2000, more than 25,000 mining concessions have been given out throughout the country, accounting for about one fifth of its surface. Currently there are around 750 mining projects (70% in exploration stage), of which more than 60% target gold or silver. The greatest beneficiaries of this new gold rush have been a handful of Canadian mining companies, who hold about 80% of these projects. Ironically, foreign mining companies have extracted as much as three times the amount of gold, and at least more than half of the amount of silver, in the past 20 years, than the amount Spain extracted during 300 years of colonial rule.