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Industrial Minerals

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 14:43

Mexico is typically a silver country but with increasing industrial demand for metals, there is greater opportunity for the country’s base metals producers. Mexico plays a small role in global base metal production but this could all change. 

The prices of copper and industrial metals are wholly dependent on the construction and infrastructure industries. Although copper prices have been stagnant for the last few years, a situation caused by dropping Chinese demand, new legislation passed by the country’s government in mid-2017 that bans imports of scrap metal could be the start of a new copper bull run. To fill the gap in the market caused by copper, zinc has eagerly stepped up to the plate. After a poor performance at the end of 2015, zinc rallied to levels unseen in 2016, bolstered by the supply deficit created by the low prices. Several mining companies have spotted this opportunity, including powerhouses Industrias Peñoles and Grupo México, and production plans going forward put zinc in the spotlight. Other alternative metals are also growing in importance with new technological developments, like the lithium used in cell phones and the cobalt needed to manufacture electric vehicles. Only time will tell how these metals will perform in the long term.