NAICA

 

Location and Geology
Naica mine is located near Delicias City in the state of Chihuahua. The project consists of an underground deposit with concentrations of lead, zinc and silver with small amounts of copper. The mine is in a semi-dry area with extreme temperature changes with an average of 18.3°C, with a high temperature of 41.7°C and a low of -14.1°C.

History
Mining first started at Naica in 1794 when the first mineral discovery was made but formal mining activities began in 1828 and the construction of the town started. In 1900 Compañia Minera de Naica started mining operations in the mine until 1911 when the Mexican Revolution stopped the operations in the mine losing the municipality status and was added to Saucillo in 1922. Mining restarted in 1928 and operations were in charge of a company from United States until Peñoles acquired the mine in 1962. In 1998, Peñoles bought the remaining part of Fresnillo giving the company full ownership of the mine.

Productivity and Technology
Naica started operations in 1900 but Industrias Peñoles until 1964 and produced 15,495 tons of lead, 13,047 tons of zinc, 1.95 million ounces of silver and 624 tons of copper. Naica declared 14.7 million tons with 337,591 tons of lead, 804,913 tons of zinc, 50.054 million ounces of silver and 13,267. The estimated mine life has grown to 21.8 years since reserves increased 89% from 2010 to 2011.

Health, Safety and Environment
Naica has won different awards for environmental responsibility such as the Clean Industry Award granted by PROFEPA, and the ISO 14001. The mine safety team won third place in the 9th National Competitions of Mining Rescue and got the Tierra de Oro award granted by the Chihuahua state government.

Strategy and ambitions
Further exploration is in process to increase reserves and wind power has become an alternative to reduce energy costs and pollution to the environment and will be completed in 2015.