Mexico's Mining Production Returns to Pre-pandemic LevelsBy Paloma Duran | Wed, 03/31/2021 - 14:01
Despite the many challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank of Mexico reports that the latest volume of mining production surpassed the records of March 2020, which means that the sector has returned to pre-pandemic levels. In addition, Bacanora announced that thanks to Ganfeng's new technology, the project to create a lithium battery manufacturing plant in Mexico is more feasible.
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Mexican mining production has recovered to pre-pandemic levels, despite the challenges COVID-19 continues to create. According to La Jornada, the pandemic caused a drop of approximately 6.7 percent in the value of mining production last year, which was partially offset by the prices of commodities such as gold, silver and copper, especially during 2Q2021. This week, the Bank of Mexico announced the most recent mining production volume was 81.27 points, which is five percent more than the 77.39 points it had in March 2020.
Bacanora Lithium Plc (Bacanora) announced that it has increased the feasibility of building a lithium battery plant in Mexico, due to a new Chinese technology from Ganfeng Lithium Co Ltd (Ganfeng). Bacanora explained that it currently has an important collaboration with Ganfeng to improve the engineering of the potential lithium processing plant and explained that Ganfeng recently designed a new technology to produce lithium batteries at a reasonable cost.
First Majestic released its first ESG Report, showing its commitment to benchmarking its sustainability performance and sharing with the audience how its operations are conducted with responsible practices and transparency. "First Majestic's commitment to safety, the environment and communities is a fundamental principle of the company and it is continually ingrained in our operations," said Keith Neumeyer, President and CEO of First Majestic. Neumeyer explained that since the company began operating in Mexico in 2003, it has always sought to be socially responsible by having a strong bond with the communities and being their main generator of employment.
McEwen Mining announced that its Sinaloa El Gallo mine has resumed operations after negotiating with nearby communities, which had forced the company to halt operations in the beginning of March by blocking the mine’s main access point. In a recent press release, McEwen reported it had reached a new 10-year resolution with the local communities that would provide the latter additional support and give the company greater long-term certainty in its operations at El Gallo.
Argonaut Gold Inc. (Argonaut) announced that it has increased its mineral reserves by 43 percent and its M&I Mineral Resources by 26 percent from December 2019 to December 2020. The company explained that most of the increase in reserves and mineral resources is due to the acquisition of Alio Gold Inc. Argonaut also explained that during 2020, its San Agustín mine and La Colorada mine increased their mineral reserves, while its Florida Canyon mine restored mineral reserves that were already depleted.
Gatos Silver Inc. (Gatos Silver) announced its 2020 operational and financial results. The company shared its main results, which included a record production of 652,739 ore tons from Cerro Los Gatos mine; record silver, gold, zinc and lead metal recoveries at the Cerro Los Gatos’ processing plant and a 27,000-m exploration program that started at the mine in December.
“This past year was transformative for Gatos Silver. Despite the pandemic related 45-day temporary suspension of mining activities imposed by the Mexican government, design throughput was achieved at our mine in late 2020,” said Stephen Orr, Gatos Silver’s CEO, in a press release.
In addition, the company announced it will carry out several strategic capital initiatives to increase production efficiency and implement the best standards in 2021. Gatos Silver added that in 2021, the Cerro Los Gatos mine recovered metal production is expected to be “7.5- 7.9Moz of silver, 40-42 million pounds of lead and 49-52 million pounds of zinc at an All-In Sustaining Cost of US$17-US$17.5/Ag oz.”