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Spotlight

Larger Projects Translate Into Major Benefits

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 14:23

Mineral resources are often found in isolated regions, which means mining projects can act as drivers for economic, social and environmental development. Sustainability is changing the way companies structure their projects and La Herradura mine is no exception. Located in Sonora, this asset is one of the largest open pit mines in Mexico. Fully owned by Fresnillo plc, it produces 51.4 percent of the group’s gold production.
La Herradura comprises an open pit mine, a dynamic lixiviation plant and a Merrill Crowe facility. Even though the mine started operations in 1997, ongoing optimization procedures maintain its production levels, including a second dynamic lixiviation plant with a capacity to process 9,000t/d constructed in 2018. Together, both plants reach daily production of up to 18,000t/d, which led to total production of 474,168 oz of gold and 1,523 oz of silver in 2018.
From an environmental perspective, Fresnillo implemented the use of LNG to power its cargo fleet to reduce its overall CO2 emissions. At the social level, La Herradura was a pioneer in including more women in its labor force, both for mining activities and decision-making positions within the company’s organization. Minera Penmont, Fresnillo’s subsidiary operating this mine, also works hand in hand with the University of Sonora to incorporate recent graduates into the workforce.
The project has been awarded national and international certifications such as CONCAMIN’s Value and Ethics Prize and PROFEPA’s Social Responsibility Prize. La Herradura also complies with quality standards such as the cyanide code, ISO4001 and OHSAS 18001. During 2019, the company will continue its drilling work and will reevaluate a potential expansion of the Herradura Mine. In addition, with the construction of the second dynamic lixiviation plant, the company will conclude construction of new patios in the next year.