Mines in Mexico Pick Up Where They Left Off
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Mines in Mexico Pick Up Where They Left Off

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By MBN Staff | MBN staff - Thu, 05/28/2020 - 16:35

The Week in Mining highlights developments in Mexico’s mining industry, where mines are resuming operations after several weeks of shutdown. Silver is starting to catch up with gold’s bullish run. Informal, artisanal gold mining remains a social and environmental hazard but fintech-led efforts may help to alleviate it.



BNAmericas reports that mining companies in Mexico “have begun resuming operations following COVID-19 suspensions lasting nearly two months. Production is restarting at a number of mines under new government guidelines that require companies to implement measures to prevent the spread of the virus among workers and local communities. The protocols must be evaluated and approved by IMSS for operations to restart.”


Vancouver-based Endeavour Silver Corp. announced that it has “restarted mining operations at its three high-grade, underground silver-gold mines in Mexico. The company filed its mine operating and health plans with, and received approvals from, the Ministry of Health in Mexico to recommence mining operations.”


Fortuna Silver Mines says it has “resumed production at its San Jose mine in Mexico. Fortuna said it had been granted approval to restart San Jose on May 25 and production resumed at nameplate capacity of 3,000 tons per day. San Jose had produced 1.57 million oz of silver and 9,630 oz of gold in 1Q19[MAS1] .”


Gold Resource Corporation announced Wednesday that “it has begun to restart its Oaxaca Mining Unit operations after receiving government approval. The company said it is not aware of any COVID-19 cases at its operations and will continue to train, promote and utilize protective measures for workers and neighboring communities.”




Silver is making up for lost time. After losing roughly 32 percent of its value in March, falling to US$11.85/oz, silver prices have climbed back up. Analysts are pointing out that the trend in silver’s price shows potential for a further increase due to a supply deficit and to investors seeking refuge in precious metals as safe-haven assets. Silver miners in Mexico are due to benefit from the expected bullish market.


The World Gold Council has released a report exploring the unprecendented disruption COVID-19 has caused in gold’s global supply chain: “Gold is mined in every continent except Antarctica, refined into bars and coins in numerous countries and distributed far and wide. This geographical dispersion not only brings stability to the gold market, it is also necessary to satisfy demand. We find that while gold’s supply chain has not escaped unscathed, it has demonstrated resilience in the face of these challenges, highlighting a key strength of the market.”




Getting your hands on physical gold has become particularly hard in times of COVID-19. Blockchain technology, often perceived as providing the foundation for assets that compete against gold, can actually help solve the problem.


A KPMG report points out that before the pandemic, “the main risks facing the mining industry included access to capital, community relations and a global trade war. Now, however, response to the pandemic is at the forefront of immediate planning, decision making and risk mitigation.” 


An article in The Conversation explains that “about 15 percent of world gold production is from artisanal and small-scale mining in over 70 countries throughout Asia, Africa and South America. These operations employ 10 to 19 million workers. They often are poorly policed and weakly regulated.”



Photo by:   af.mil

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