Behind the scenes at Grupo Mexico, the world's leading producer of copper
Grupo Mexico is the largest miningcorporation in Mexicoand the third largest copperproducer in the world. The group is also a major producer of silver...
Grupo Mexico is the largest mining corporation in Mexico and the third largest copper producer in the world. The group is also a major producer of silver, zinc, gold, lead and molybdenum.
Their certified stocks of copper reserves are higher in comparison to other main producers. "This gives much life to our mines, but also lots of strength and confidence to our investors, because we have reserves for many years to come and in great condition," says Garcia de Quevedo, president of Minera Mexico.
Their mining operation represents 78 percent of the Group's revenue, the transportation division occupies 14 percent, and the rest is taken by the new infrastructure operation.
Global Sales by Product
The group’s current annual pension is 120,000 tons, divided into:
• Copper: 80 percent of their global sales.
• Silver: Seven percent of their global sales.
• Molybdenum: Six percent of their global sales.
• Zinc: Three percent of their global sales.
In the future they will increase copper sales in Asian markets, such as China, Japan, and Korea due to Asia’s percentage of copper consumption calculated at 64 percent of the worldwide purchase. Without neglecting their current markets, which are divided in: 47 percent of the copper is sold to United States, 30 percent of the copper is sold in Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Peru, etc.), 15 percent goes to Europe and seven percent goes to Asia.
Grupo Mexico is going through a period of sustainable growth, with an increase of more than 60 percent in their production of copper at Buenavista del Cobre Mine (formerly Cananea), which translates into an annual production of 200,000 tons.
Grupo Mexico has two major concessions in the railroad loading business that annually generate more than $2 billion. These concessions cover 70 percent of the national territory; reached nine ports and five borders.
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They have focused their efforts on reducing costs, increasing productivity and saving energy.
In 2013, power generation plants of 150 megawatts of combined cycle were established in Sonora, mainly for self-consumption of Sonora’s operation of 600,000 tons annually.
Their new industrial equipment has improved productivity in mines, along with new advances in sandblasting treatment and GPS technology.
The innovative machinery is also more efficient in regards to power consumption and helps automate the processes; an example of this is the solvent extraction and electro-winning (SX/EW) used by Grupo Mexico.
Garcia de Quevedo indicates that Grupo Mexico holds an environmental discipline in all operations and has conducted several remediation programs.
Grupo Mexico is one of the biggest promoters of:
• Trees: The company plants two million trees in surrounding regions.
• Nurseries: By developing these lands they provide an economic benefit to nearby residents.
• Wind farm: To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increased their energy savings thanks to the establishment of a wind farm in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Through Grupo Mexico’s foundation they provide social support in eight community centers called “Casa Grande,” in Mexico and Peru. Within these centers education and self-improvement is promoted.
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The group believes in the continued development of their human resource, Garcia de Quevedo mentions: "A good worker can become a technician tomorrow, and even an engineer." They also created the degree of mining engineering in conjunction with the government and have included more women in their operations.
Facing the Future
Oil and gas: They are building four water drills. With this new addition, Grupo Mexico will have a fleet of seven ocean drills, positioning them as one of the most important companies for Pemex.
Infrastructure: In the process of finalizing a superhighway of high specification in the center of the country.
Energy: They will continue the consumption of renewable energy from their newly established wind farm of 74 mega watts in Oaxaca, Mexico. They will also supply wind energy to Cinemex (cinemas located in more than 300 locations nationwide).
Mining: They are developing an underground mine and are looking to continue the project “Tia Maria” after getting the social license to continue processing this mine.
By 2015 they will double their copper production to more than 500,000 tons in Buenavista del Cobre mine. "This increase in volume will help us be more efficient and productive," says Garcia de Quevedo.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.