Fresnillo's US$440mn Juanicipio project receives energy nod

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Mexico’s public utility CFE approved operations start-up of the main substation that will power Fresnillo's US$440mn Juanicipio project in Zacatecas state.

"Fresnillo can confirm that the main substation that will provide power to the project has been inspected and approved for use," the miner said in a press release. 

"This is a key milestone as the new components of the substation are now fully connected to the grid, and the main transformer for the project has been energized," it added. 

Juanicipio is a 56:44 JV with MAG Silver and expected to become one of Mexico's biggest silver mines, with production of 11.7Moz/y, plus 43,500oz/y gold.

Fresnillo, 75%-owned by Industrias Peñoles, plans to commission and scale Juanicipio production following delays in grid connection. Construction was completed in late 2021, and ore is transported to the Fresnillo and Saucito mines for processing.

Tests on the downstream power distribution and control systems for final tie-in to the national grid are continuing in line with CFE requirements.

"Fresnillo is very confident in the integrity of the new systems and that they will meet the stringent requirements of regulator [Cenace]. In addition, we are confident in our ability to effect a rapid ramp-up of operations once all final elements are formally approved, and full load commissioning at Juanicipio commences," the statement added.

In September, Fresnillo CEO Octavio Alvídrez told the Gold Forum Americas event in Colorado Springs that plant commissioning will start as soon as the mine had energy, expected for end-October with ramp through end-2022. A new date for start-up has not been provided.

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