Consolidated Zinc Reports Robbery At Plomosas MineBy Fernando Mares | Tue, 04/26/2022 - 16:02
Consolidated Zinc announced to shareholders that on April 15, a group of armed intruders entered the Plomosas mine, located in Sonora, taking security guards and employees captive and stealing part of the mine’s zinc production. It is not the first time the company experienced such security issues.
According to the company, an armed group entered Plomosas’ facilities at 3 a.m. local time. The facility’s security guard and employees were locked in a shipping container, after which the thieves stole over 80 tonnes of zinc and lead concentrates with an estimated value of US$120,000. No guard or employees were harmed, although all staff on site received counseling and further support.
The company’s Mexican subsidiary, Minera Latin American Zinc, is working with the Mexican Federal Police and the Army to identify and apprehend the criminals. The company announced further security measures are to be implemented.
On Nov. 16, 2021, at approximately 11 p.m., the Plomosas site suffered a previous mugging. During this similar incident, employees were also locked in a container and 90 tonnes of zinc, valued at US$90,000 were stolen. Following the incident, the company upgraded the physical barriers surrounding the mine’s access road.
Security issues are recurrent problems for Mexico’s mining industry. On Apr. 8, 2021, Alamos Gold’s Mulatos mine in Sonora was robbed. According to the company, an armed group entered the facilities, captured employees and stole silver and gold ingots, using an airplane to escape.
Entrepreneurs asked president López Obrador to act on the back of the incident. Two years earlier, the president inaugurated a new police force, part of the Federal Protection Service (SPF), which aims to protect mining operations.
“There is a potential demand of over 1,056 elements of the SPF for companies that have shown interest in our services,” said the SPF.
Mexico has over 274 mines in operation and over 1,000 deposits in development. The country is also a leader in the production and export of these materials, but its performance has been hampered by gangs and drug cartels.
The Plomosas Zinc Project is fully owned by Consolidated Zinc, an Australia-based mining company. The mine is located in Chihuahua and covers over 3,000ha. The company started production in Sept. 2018 and achieved commercial production in December of that year.