The Week in Mining highlights developments in Mexico’s mining industry. At the government level, the country’s senate ratified the trade agreement with the US and Canada and reassuring declarations came forth from the Ministry of Economy. On the sector’s forefront, Fresnillo’s debt outlook was reduced, Azure is set to start its fully-funded Oposura project and Mexican Gold Corp. reshuffled some of its key executive positions. Gold prices raced to levels not seen since 2013, potentially galvanized by the Fed’s dovish declarations. Also, miningtechnology.com informed that technology has been key in improving mining safety, while Rio Tinto unleashed the world’s biggest robot in Western Australia.
Finally, do not miss this week’s Interview of the Week with Octavio Alvídrez, CEO of Fresnillo, where we discuss how the Mexican champion has weathered the economic downturn and remained at the top of the industry.
Mexico Reaffirms Its Commitment to Trade and Mining
- The Mexican Senate, by an overwhelming majority, ratified USMCA. Pending ratification by the other two North American countries, Mexico took the initiative to guarantee the success of free trade in the region.
- Mexico’s Mining Undersecretary, Francisco Quiroga, said that elevating the country’s mining competitiveness is a priority in the Ministry of Economy’s agenda. He elaborated: “We are working on reducing mining costs and are in conversations with investors to analyze each cost individually to achieve improvements.”
Mining Operators in Mexico Have a Lively Week
- Moody’s reduced Fresnillo’s debt outlook from “positive” to “stable.” The rating agency supported its decision on the Mexican giant’s negative free cash flow expectations and on apprehensions surrounding potential reforms of the country’s mining law later this year.
- Mexican Gold Corp. announced the resignation of its president, Brian Robertson. Later in the week, the company declared that Phillip O’Neill will replace Carl Hering as CEO.
- Azure Minerals has obtained all necessary permits for its project at Oposura. The zinc, lead and silver mine is projected to start production in September.
Gold Prices Near a Six-Year High
- Gold traded as high as $1,415.40 per ounce, possibly spurred by the Fed’s dovish declarations and continuous tensions between the US and Iran in the Persian Gulf.
Technological Innovation Key to Mining Future
- An illuminating study analyzing US mining accidents and fatalities in 2018 indicated that “developments in technology, particularly in tracking devices, were responsible for fewer fatalities in 2018 than in 2017.”
- As part of its Mine of the Future project in Western Australia, Rio Tinto put into operation a US$940 million autonomous train fleet, said to be the world’s largest robot.