Consolidated Zinc reported that last week it had suffered a robbery at its Plomosas mine in Chihuahua. Zinc and lead concentrates worth US$90,000 were taken. The company announced it is currently working with the authorities and the army to improve the security of its mine and protect its workers.
On Nov. 16 at approximately 11 pm, a group of armed bandits entered the Plomosas mine and captured a security guard and employees. The group subsequently stole approximately 90 tons of zinc and lead concentrates, which are worth US$90,000. Consolidated Zinc said all the workers and security guards were not injured during the robbery and are currently being attended by the company.
Additionally, the company is reviewing the theft´s impact on its operations and annual objectives. Consolidated Zinc announced it believes the incident will delay the plant upgrade scheduled for year-end until 1Q22.
Furthermore, Consolidated Zinc’s subsidiary, Minera Latin American Zinc SAPI de CV is currently working with the federal police and army who have committed in improving the security of the mine and its workers over the next months.
According to experts, Mexico is leader in the production and export of materials. Nonetheless, its performance has been affected by recent incidents from criminal bands, the majority related to drug cartels that have stolen gold and silver from national deposits, reported MBN.
Organized crime has increased its involvement in illicit operations like fuel theft and clandestine exploitation of mineral resources. The most notorious theft happened in April at the Alamos Gold Mulatos gold mine in Sonora, which lead the government to establish a specialized mining force, reported MBN.
Last year, in an effort to reduce crime rates and improve the security of workers and mine deposits, the Ministry of Security and Citizen Protection, the Ministry of Economy and the Mexican Mining Chamber announced the implementation of a new police force that is dependent on the Federal Protection Service (SPF) aimed to provide protection to national deposits. However, a year after its implementation, organized crime continues to occur in the country, especially in marginalized communities, MBN reported.
Consolidate Zinc’s is whole owner of the Plomosas Zinc Project, which covers more than 3,000 ha in Chihuahua. The company started production in September 2018 and achieved commercial production in December 2018. Last quarter, 9,123 tons of ore were mined and 10,272 tons of ore were processed at 14.5 percent zinc, 6.9 percent lead and 56g/t silver, reported the company.