CANCUN, Mexico Grupo Mexico SAB de CV is turning its sights to molybdenum, not to diversify its product base further but because it makes sound commercial sense, executive president Xavier Garcia de Quevedo told AMM.
The company already produces molybdenum as a by-product at several of its mines, but will now target a 35-percent increase in the next couple of years.
"When you have metal like molybdenum, you know you really have to recover it; its something in the past that we didnt do, but we will going forward," Garcia de Quevedo said.
At Buenavista, the company is building a new 2,000-tonne-per-year molybdenum circuit that will be ready in the second quarter, he said, adding that the companys La Caridad Mine is already the biggest producer of by-product molybdenum in the world.
Grupo Mexico is targeting molybdenum output of 10,000 tonnes per year in an expansion project that will also boost copper output to 155,000 tonnes.
The company is also considering investing in a new zinc refinery in northern Mexico that would have a capacity of around 100,000 tonnes per year, Garcia de Quevedo said.
"Were in the pre-feasibility stage of the project, and this will be completed in 2013," he added.
Grupo Mexico also is in the process of moving earth to develop a large zinc-copper ore body in the open-pit section of its Cananea Mine in Sonora, Garcia de Quevedo said.
The Mexico City-based company is currently doing the engineering work for a concentrator at the site, with a goal of producing 57,000 tonnes of zinc by the end of 2015.
It is building a new concentrator at a polymetallic mine in Central Mexico, which was closed in 1993, but will be reopening in 28 months, he told AMM. The site will produce zinc, copper and silver.
Grupo Mexico is also developing the Chalchuites deposit, which mainly contains zinc.
These projects, along with other mine reopenings, will lift the companys zinc production to 140,000 tonnes per year in the next five years, Garcia de Quevedo said, up from 100,000 tonnes currently.