Fresnillo Plc

The Mexican miner Fresnillo Plc is the largest precious metal miner worldwide, specializing in the extraction and processing of prime silver. The second largest gold producer in Mexico is headquartered in the capital Mexico City. The company is a top tier silver miner with shares listed on the FTSE 100 Index. In addition, its shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the Mexican Stock Exchange (MSE).

The silver site in the Fresnillo district was discovered in 1550. This event started the first large scale mining rush in the history of North America. Rich deposits of silver were discovered at San Benito, San Bernabe, and Veta Grande. The actual exploration of Frensillo commenced much later. The rich deposits of acanthite, polybasite, pyrargyrite, and stephanite were discovered in the 1970s. While mineralization is impressive, most silver has been extracted from pyrargyrite ore.

The mining site is owned and operated by Industrias Penoles: a Mexican subsidiary of the Grupo Bal. Penoles is engaged in the production of gold, lead, and zinc. At present, the company exploits three gold and silver mining operations, situated in Mexico. Mina Proano, near the city of Frensillo, has yielded around 18 million troy ounces of silver each year. In 2004, the giant mining operation reached an output of 32 million silver ounces. The mining site possesses ISO 14000 certification with regard to its environmental protection equipment. The Mexican authorities also granted “Clean Industry Registration” to the mining facilities.

The other mining sites of the company are located in Cienega and Herradura. The narrow veins of the Cienega site are suitable for exploitation through thermal fragmentation. Gold production averages approximately 24 thousand ounces per quarter. In 2009, silver production increased by more than 96 percent and during the second quarter, the output amounted to 432 thousand ounces. The Herradura mining property has reached record levels of gold production in 2008. The site produced more than 71 thousand ounces of gold during the first quarter of 2008. In 2009, silver production increased by 42 percent and reached 44 thousand ounces during the second quarter. As of 2007, the company yielded a total output of 34 million troy ounces of silver and 280 thousand ounces of gold.

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