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  • Peñasquito

    The Peñasquito mine, owned and operated by Goldcorp, is Mexico's largest open pit mine and is located in the northeastern portion of the state of Zacatecas. It consists of two open pits: Peñasco and Chile Colorado, containing gold, silver, lead and zinc. The site consists of two 50,000t/d capacity sulphide processing lines and a 30,000t/d capacity high pressure grinding roll circuit. The sulphide ore is processed through a conventional crushing, milling and flotation facility that produces lead and zinc concentrates. Peñasquito, which achieved commercial production in 2010, is forecast to produce an average of approximately 28Moz/y silver over a 13-year mine life. Full-year 2014 production is expected to range between 530,000oz and 560,000oz gold, 22Moz and 25Moz silver, 315Mlb to 325Mlb zinc and 135Mlb to 145Mlb lead. Exploration continues to expand the high-grade manto deposits beneath the Peñasquito pit. Assay results have demonstrated significant potential for concurrent, high-grade production from mantos below the current pits, later in the life of the mine. Also at Peñasquito, prefeasibility studies for the concentrate enrichment process project and the pyrite leach project are advancing, and are scheduled to be completed in late 2014 and early 2015, respectively. In April 2007, Silver Wheaton agreed to purchase 25% of all the silver produced from Peñasquito, over its entire mine life. Precious metals royalty company Royal Gold holds a 2.0% net smelter return royalty on all metals at the Penasquito project.

  • IEnova profit slides

    Mexican firm IEnova, the local subsidiary of US-based Sempra Energy, saw its profits shrink marginally in the second quarter. Net profits for the period were US$34mn, down from US$36mn in 2Q15, the Mexico City-based firm said. Revenue dipped to US$139mn from US$143mn. The firm's Los Ramones Norte pipeline has been in operation since February and the Sierra Juárez wind farm (pictured) entered operations in June 2015. During the quarter, IEnova was awarded two natural gas pipeline contracts by Mexico's state utility CFE, the US$1.2bn, 800km Texas-Tuxpan undersea line, which the company's JV with TransCanada, Marina del Golfo, will build, and the Empalme pipeline branch, which IEnova's subsidiary Gasoducto de Aguaprieta will develop. The company's gas segment saw pre-tax revenues of US$61.7mn, up from US$59.7mn in 2Q15.

  • IEnova profit sees marginal Q2 profit drop

    Mexican firm IEnova, the local subsidiary of US-based Sempra Energy, saw its profits shrink marginally in the second quarter. Net profits for the period were US$34mn, down from US$36mn in 2Q15, the Mexico City-based firm said. Revenue dipped to US$139mn from US$143mn. The firm's Los Ramones Norte pipeline has been in operation since February and the Sierra Juárez wind farm (pictured) entered operations in June 2015. During the quarter, IEnova was awarded two natural gas pipeline contracts by Mexico's state utility CFE, the US$1.2bn, 800km Texas-Tuxpan undersea line, which the company's JV with TransCanada, Marina del Golfo, will build, and the Empalme pipeline branch, which IEnova's subsidiary Gasoducto de Aguaprieta will develop. The company's gas segment saw pre-tax revenues of US$61.7mn, up from US$59.7mn in 2Q15.

  • Pemex trims losses but oil, gas, petchem production drops

    Mexico's state hydrocarbons firm Pemex reported an 83.5bn-peso (US$4.39bn) net loss for the second quarter as oil, gas and petrochemical production all declined during the period. The quarterly net loss was slightly less than the 84.6bn-peso loss reported for the same period of last year – but up compared with the 62bn-peso loss it posted for last quarter. Last quarter it also trimmed losses year-on-year, from 101bn pesos. Second-quarter oil production fell 2.2% to 2.18Mb/d compared with 2Q15, continuing a downward trend that the company seeks to revert through the auction of shallow water and onshore blocks last year and the auction of deepwater blocks in December, in addition to a production-sharing contract on the Trión deepwater block. Of the total oil production, 79% was offshore. Natural gas production (including nitrogen) also fell in Q2, to 5.88Bf3/d, down 6.4%. Petrochemical production fell 21.7% to 978Mt, with the sharpest drop in propylene and derivatives production. Total sales during the second quarter were 256bn pesos, down from 309bn in 2Q15, but the company's general costs, including distribution, transportation and taxes but not including E&P, remained the same year-on-year, at 37bn pesos. Total financial costs increased year-on-year, however, to 139bn pesos, up from 41bn pesos in 2Q15. The company's overall debt, including obligations such as pensions, increased to 3.49tn pesos, up from 3.11tn pesos at end-2015, it said in a results statement. The company said it is continuing with cost-cutting measures, which include optimization of existing operations aimed at reducing hydrocarbons recovery costs, a renegotiation of drilling and services costs, and a 10% potential reduction of new projects. The company underwent a US$5.5bn budget cut in February.

  • Groundwater in Mexico's Sonora state may be polluted after mining spill

    Mexico's environmental protection agency Profepa has started an investigation after a spill of allegedly contaminated water in Sahuaripa municipality in the northern state of Sonora, which may have polluted groundwater in the area with cyanide. The authorities are inspecting Minas de Oro Nacional's Mulatos mine, after the company said it had spilled about 8,400 liters of rainwater that had come into contact with leachates in an area of 75m2, Profepa stated in a release. Profepa is taking soil and water samples for analysis to see if the water was contaminated with cyanide, and whether that has affected flora and fauna or has seeped into groundwater. Neither Minas de Oro Nacional nor the state water authority CEA responded to BNamericas' requests for comment. Minas de Oro Nacional is a Mexican subsidiary of Canadian mining company Alamos Gold Inc. The Mulatos mine is 300km south of the US border, according to information on the company's website.

  • Many Mexican banks fail credit transparency test

    Of 20 Mexican consumer credit banking institutions evaluated, 13 failed in terms of transparency, according to the country's financial services consumer watchdog Condusef. Banks were evaluated on a 1-10 scale and the average score dropped from 5.9 last year to 4.1 in 2016. The transparency failure can mean that consumers are paying 60% higher interest rates at the bank in question and that such banks make it difficult for consumers to file complaints, Condusef president Mario Di Costanzo told local news outlet El Financiero, The evaluation examined personal, payroll and auto loans, which made up 14% of total banking complaints filed with Condusef in January-June this year.

  • Nafin to provide financial support for Mexico City airport contractors

    Mexican development bank Nafin and GACM, the concessionaire of the new Mexico City international airport, have signed an agreement to develop financing schemes for suppliers and contractors participating in the construction works. Under the agreement, suppliers and contractors that are involved in construction of the airport will be able to request a working capital loan of up to 50% of the contract that they have with GACM, Mexico's transport and communication ministry (SCT) said in a release. The loans will be provided by commercial banks, but Nafin will provide financial guarantees. The deal will also allow these suppliers and contractors to charge their bills through the productive chains platform of Nafin, read the release. GACM director Federico Patiño, responsible for the Mexico City airport project, and Jacques Rogozinski, the director of Nafin, both signed the agreement. "I don't think there is a more strategic project that the new Mexico City international airport, which is why it's so important to have all of the financial instruments so it can be carried out in the best way possible," said the head of the transport department of the SCT, Yuriria Mascott. GACM has said it will launch more than 40 tenders for the new airport this year alone. The airport will have a footprint of around 4,430ha and will eventually handle up to 120mn passengers a year.

  • Nafin to provide financial support for Mexico City airport contractors

    Mexican development bank Nafin and GACM, the concessionaire of the new Mexico City international airport, have signed an agreement to develop financing schemes for suppliers and contractors participating in the construction works. Under the agreement, suppliers and contractors that are involved in construction of the airport will be able to request a working capital loan of up to 50% of the contract that they have with GACM, Mexico's transport and communication ministry (SCT) said in a release. The loans will be provided by commercial banks, but Nafin will provide financial guarantees. The deal will also allow these suppliers and contractors to charge their bills through the productive chains platform of Nafin, read the release. GACM director Federico Patiño, responsible for the Mexico City airport project, and Jacques Rogozinski, the director of Nafin, both signed the agreement. "I don't think there is a more strategic project that the new Mexico City international airport, which is why it's so important to have all of the financial instruments so it can be carried out in the best way possible," said the head of the transport department of the SCT, Yuriria Mascott. GACM has said it will launch more than 40 tenders for the new airport this year alone. The airport will have a footprint of around 4,430ha and will eventually handle up to 120mn passengers a year.

  • Mexico

    Mexican Power Sector: The New Market Takes Its First Steps

    By Peter de Montmollin - Thursday, July 28, 2016

    At the end of January this year, Mexico inaugurated its first ever competitive wholesale electricity market. A few months later, it awarded contracts worth some US$2.6 billion in the first long-term energy supply auction. Both events are the result of the historic transformation that the local electricity sector has undergone since in December 2013, when the government enacted reforms. This report will examine the progress of the reforms so far, the next steps, and the investment opportunities that have arisen in the country.

  • Goldcorp approves Mexican pyrites leach project

    Goldcorp approved the US$420mn pyrites leach project (PLP) at its Peñasquito mine in Mexico. The Canadian company, the biggest gold miner in Latin America, plans to begin work on the project in August following board approval on July 27. The PLP is expected to increase overall gold and silver recovery by treating zinc tailings before discharge to the tailings storage facility, the company said in its Q2 results. The project is expected to recover about 40% of gold and 48% of silver currently going to the tailings, resulting in additional production of 100,000-140,000oz/y gold and 4.0-6.0Moz/y silver. Commercial production is planned for 1Q19. The project has a post-tax IRR of 17% at long-term gold and silver prices of US$1,250/oz and US$18/oz. Goldcorp plans to invest about US$40mn in the project this year, followed by US$270mn in 2017 and US$110mn in 2018.

  • Groundwater in Mexico's Sonora state may be polluted after mining spill

    Mexico's environmental protection agency Profepa has started an investigation after a spill of allegedly contaminated water in Sahuaripa municipality in the northern state of Sonora, which may have polluted groundwater in the area with cyanide. The authorities are inspecting Minas de Oro Nacional's Mulatos mine, after the company said it had spilled about 8,400 liters of rainwater that had come into contact with leachates in an area of 75m2, Profepa stated in a release. Profepa is taking soil and water samples for analysis to see if the water was contaminated with cyanide, and whether that has affected flora and fauna or has seeped into groundwater. Neither Minas de Oro Nacional nor the state water authority CEA responded to BNamericas' requests for comment. Minas de Oro Nacional is a Mexican subsidiary of Canadian mining company Alamos Gold Inc. The Mulatos mine is 300km south of the US border, according to information on the company's website.

  • Los Filos

    Los Filos mine received construction permits in 2005 and has been operational since 2008. Until 2012, it was Mexico's main gold mine, with a yearly output of 300,000oz of gold and a processing capacity of 70,000t/d. The operation consists of two open-pit mines (Los Filos and El Bermejal) and a third underground mine. It has a workforce of more than 2,100 people. The mine has more than 7M ounces of gold and 53M ounces of silver in proven and probable resources

  • AXA rules out stellar premium growth in Mexico this year

    As it celebrates its eighth year in Mexico, French insurance giant AXA does not expect a stellar 2016 in the Mexican market due to economic challenges. However, although growth forecasts for the insurance sector are impacted by economic factors, such as the adjustment of public expenditure and oil prices, AXA still believes that it can grow premiums around 6% this year," Bolsamanía reported AXA Seguros CEO, Xavier de Bellefon, as saying. De Bellefon said that during 2015 the insurer paid out 232bn pesos (US$12.27bn) in claims, representing a 7.9% increase from 2014. AXA also recognizes that currency volatility has impacted part of the customer base, with the depreciation of the peso against the dollar increasing the cost of life and education insurance over the last 18 months. "Approximately 30% of our customers that save in dollars have been affected," de Bellefon said in an interview with Forbes Mexico.

  • Goldcorp eyeing LatAm mine sell-off

    Goldcorp is considering selling three Latin American operations, CEO David Garofalo said. The Los Filos mine in Mexico, Marlin in Guatemala and the company's 37.5% stake in Alumbrera in Argentina could be sold as the company focuses on brownfield expansion projects and the recently acquired Coffee project in Canada, Garofalo told the Vancouver-based company's Q2 earnings call. "Whenever we're considering other opportunities it's always about trading up the quality of the portfolio, and Goldcorp has done that exceptionally well over time," he said. "By introducing a project like Coffee, other things will fall off the table, and there are some non-core operations which we're contemplating the sale of." Los Filos produced 66,000oz gold in Q2, down from 67,000oz in the same period last year, with all-in sustaining costs (AISCs) at US$822/oz, down from US$1,071/oz). Output at Marlin was 26,000oz gold and 1.25Moz silver, down from 41,000oz and 1.89Moz respectively, with AISCs at US$1,263/oz, up from US$904/oz, while attributable output at Alumbrera was 20,000oz gold and 14.3Mlb (6,486t) copper, compared to 16,000oz and 8.30Mlb. Goldcorp, Latin America's top gold miner, has other mines and projects in Mexico, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Canada and the US.

  • Pemex eyes 45% stake in Trión block

    Mexico's state oil and gas firm Pemex is aiming for a 45% stake in the Trión deepwater block and potential bidders must be able to prove production experience in deepwater of at least 50,000boe/d over the course of a year during the 2011-15 period. A shared production contract with Pemex for Trión is being auctioned, as announced in June. During a press conference, Pemex CEO José Antonio González Anaya (pictured) said potential bidders must also be able to prove at least US$5bn in capital and assets of at least US$25bn. The initial work plan aims for the drilling of two delimitation wells, an exploratory well and the acquisition of 1,250km2 of seismic data. Pemex will sign a joint operating agreement (JOA) with the successful bidder. Development of the Trión block requires nearly US$11bn investment and the procurement of those funds through a shared contract will translate into infrastructure development and job creation in the region, González Anaya said, according to a Pemex release. The criteria to qualify to participate in the bidding process are due to be published on Thursday by the national hydrocarbons commission (CNH), opening a space for interested parties to consult the rules and submit queries regarding the terms and technical and financial specifications. The successful bidder will be required to make a minimum investment of US$464mn and Pemex will be exempt from contributing until the investment, or accumulated investment in the event of more than one bidder being awarded a contract and participating in the JOA, has reached that figure. Additional investment will determine the royalties that the JOA partner will receive, which distinguishes this tender from that designed for the blocks contained in the fourth Round One auction, scheduled for December 5. The result of the Trión shared contract tender is also due to be announced on December 5. Firms participating can be non-operational as long as they participate in a consortium at least two operators, CNH director Juan Carlos Zepeda said during the press conference. Energy minister Pedro Joaquín Coldwell said the launching of the tender for joint production at Trión marks "a historic day" for the oil company and the sector.

  • Goldcorp slips to loss as LatAm mines underperform

    Canada's Goldcorp slumped to a loss in Q2 due to weak performance at its biggest Latin American operations. The company recorded a US$78.0mn net loss, compared to net earnings of US$392mn in the same quarter last year as production fell to 613,400oz gold from 908,000oz, while all-in sustaining costs (AISCs) increased to US$1,067/oz from US$853/oz. PEÑASQUITO Goldcorp's Peñasquito, the biggest gold mine in Mexico, saw output plummet to 36,000oz gold from 298,000oz, while AISCs spiraled to US$3,094/oz from US$416/oz. Silver production was down to 3.12Moz from 6.90Moz. The poor performance was due to grades falling to 0.39g/t from 1.31g/t. Recoveries were also lower, and output was impacted by a 10-day shutdown for plant maintenance and a longer than expected period to ramp the plant back to full production. Output is expected to improve in H2, with grades rising to 0.6g/t this quarter and 0.8-0.85g/t in the final quarter, COO George Burns told the company's earnings call. Mining is expected to focus on lower grade ore in the upper parts of the Peñasquito pit over the next three years, before hitting higher grade, deeper ore by 2019. CERRO NEGRO The Vancouver-based company's Cerro Negro mine in Argentina produced 86,000oz gold, down from 131,000oz, with AISCs at US$808/oz, up from US$792/oz. Silver output was 648,000oz, down from 1.61Moz. Operations were impacted by reduced ore volume processed, due to exhaustion of surface stockpiles, and by a workforce reduction as part of a restructuring process that began in the quarter, resulting in a five-day shutdown in May. The workforce changes are expected to deliver US$65mn/y in savings. PUEBLO VIEJO There was better news from Goldcorp's 40%-owned Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic, which brought in 100,000oz of gold for the company at AISCs of US$587/oz, compared with 87,000oz at US$688/oz a year earlier.The mine, operated and 60% owned by Barrick Gold, also contributed 298,000oz of silver, up from 38,000oz. GUIDANCE Goldcorp expects to meet its 2016 forecasts of 2.8-3.1Moz gold at AISCs of US$850-925/oz, despite the weak Q2 results. EFFICIENCY, APPOINTMENTS The company has identified half of the planned US$250mn/y cost savings it targets, including efficiency improvements at Peñasquito and Cerro Negro, with the remainder expected by 2018, CEO David Garofalo said. Brian Berney and Vern Baker were appointed as mine managers for the Mexico and Argentina operations, respectively. Pictured: Cerro Negro mine

  • Mexico to build new hospital in Tabasco

    The Mexican social security agency for government workers, ISSSTE, announced that it will build a new hospital in the southern state of Tabasco. The tender for the construction contract was set to be launched on Thursday, ISSSTE director general José Reyes Baeza Terrazas said in a release. The hospital will require investment of 900mn pesos (US$47.8mn), the agency said. The 50,000m2 facility will have 90 beds and 29 consulting rooms, and will specialize in 25 areas of medicine.