Frisco Expects to Duplicate its Precious Metal Production

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 09:40

In 1984 Grupo Carso, presided by the world’s now richest man Carlos Slim, acquired Frisco S.A., a Mexican incorporated mining company that had been officially registered in 1962, though its mining operations in Mexico date as far back as 1913. Last year, as part of Minera Frisco’s growth strategy, the company completed the acquisition of a number of AuRico Gold’s Mexican mining assets for US$750 million, which represented the largest deal in gold mining involving a Mexican company, and made Frisco one of the biggest domestic mining companies. With a US$11 billion market value, Frisco is today Slim’s biggest holding, after the wireless services provider America Movil and the financial services company Grupo Financiero Inbursa. The company is also one of Mexico’s leaders in the production of lead-silver and zinc concentrates, gold and silver doré bars, copper cathode, and copper concentrate.

Frisco has an impressive list of properties: El Coronel, San Felipe, María, San Francisco del Oro, Tayahua, and Asientos. It has added weight to its portfolio more recently with the acquisition of AuRico Gold’s Ocampo mine, as well as its Venus and Los Jarros projects, and through an acquired 50% stake in the Orion mine in Nayarit State. The company today holds eight mining units in the states of Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chihuahua, Sonora, and Zacatecas, and covers the most relevant mining regions in Mexico with several exploration and development projects.

Frisco is one of five major mining companies operating in Mexico, and one of the few mining companies to be listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV). Thanks to it being part of a bigger group, the company enjoys access to the capital and resources of its sister companies, which presents an important advantage for Frisco to achieve continued growth. The company continues to invest in cuttingedge technology for locating, producing and processing minerals, making the company stand out for its innovative techniques in mineralogy characterization, and improving the company’s profitability. Frisco cites its use of the latest technology as essential in developing and improving its overall operations. Alongside its commitment to technology the company also continues to develop strategies that will allow it to reduce operational and production costs, investing for example in metallurgical research and the optimization of processes. The proximity between its Los Jarros, El Concheño, Ocampo and Venus projects will also allow the company to continue optimizing resources and to lower its operating costs. Frisco has maintained a solid commitment to social and environmental issues, and besides direct employment its mines also bring other direct benefits to the areas surrounding the company’s mining operations. Several environmental initiatives have been carried out, such as greenhouses being installed in every mining unit, in order to restore the native flora and fauna on mining units that are no longer in exploitation. The company works continuously to minimize the generation of residues and optimize water and energy consumption, all the while compensating for any adverse environmental impacts.

Though the successful implementation of Frisco’s projects could be subject to external factors, the size and strength of the company’s portfolio will ensure that it continues to make a valuable contribution to the development of Mexico’s economy and mining industry in the coming years. With the progress the company has made this year by acquiring the Ocampo mine, conducting expansion projects at El Coronel and San Felipe, and moving El Porvenir into production, among many other developments, Frisco expects to duplicate its gold and silver doré bar production by the end of 2013.