MMR 2015: Copper & Base Metals

The usage of copper, lead, zinc, and molybdenum, is intrinsic in the creation of metallic alloys, but also for the strengthening of the Mexican economy. On one hand, base metals’ electrical conductivity, ductility, and resistance to corrosion make them very useful alloys, widely used in construction, transportation, and electro-industrial applications in general. On the other hand, decreasing demand for copper and base metals, due to the decelerating growth of China, the leading consumer of base metals in the world, has led to short-term uncertainty in the base metals market. Nonetheless, the base metals demand is expected to increase to over 120 million tonnes by 2018. The production of copper accounts for 20% of the total mining and metallurgical production of Mexico, while the total base metal production amounts to over 30% of the total domestic mineral production. Mexico is now a top ten producer of bismuth, lead, molybdenum, zinc and copper, among other important industrial minerals.

This chapter will present production highlights for copper, lead, zinc, and molybdenum, analyze the shifting worldwide demand for these metals, and the global perspective of the market concerning their future value and supply. It will present an overview of the most important base metal projects, including recent expansions, as well as first-hand information on financing, mergers, and acquisitions of base metal projects in Mexico.

HIGHLIGHTS OF CHAPTER 9

  • Copper, lead, zinc, and molybdenum production highlights of 2014 and 2015
  • Global market perspective on base metals 
  • Opportunities in Mexico’s base metals sector and promising properties
  • Operations at main copper mines and expansion projects
  • Overview of base metal processing techniques