Top Commodities in the Mining Industry in Mexico

Top Commodities in the Mining Industry in Mexico

Mexico is one of the top countries in which the mining industry plays a huge role in the country’s financial development. Its history of abundant minerals and exploration projects proves that it has a strong mining culture. With the accessibility to newer technologies, the abundance of commodities gives mining companies in Mexico an advantage to quickly start developing new mines. In addition, Mexico is exploring newer practices to achieve responsible mining. One of the main practices involves Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), which essentially aims to be more efficient, socially responsible, and sustainable, all while driving the mining exploration phase to success.

In 2019 and 2020, the mining industry in Mexico was impacted due to market conditions and the impact of COVID-19. Despite these conditions, the market has improved, and more exploration projects are on the rise.

According to Industrial Info Resources, copper, gold, and silver are the leading commodities for mining projects. This accounts for approximately 80% of the value of projects currently under development. Besides these commodities, lead, zinc, and lithium are observed to be on the rise as well, due to the demand for electric vehicles. It is no surprise that copper could be the highest commodity, considering that Grupo Mexico, one of the biggest mining companies in the world, claims to have the largest copper reserve. The leading mining company in Mexico is projecting three projects in Mexico, totaling about $1 billion. However, Silver is Mexico’s largest resource globally, followed by Peru and China.

This abundance of commodities leads to the interest in exploration and mine development projects in Mexico. Therefore, the need for accurate geology and mine software is crucial to ensure that these projects are always on the right track. Specifically, modeling drill holes and accurate block models are an essential step in these greenfield projects. This will allow projects to possess accurate tonnages and grades to successfully launch projects across Mexico. With newer software technologies, mining companies in Mexico will be able to maintain their fast-paced mining developments and ensure financial success.

 

References: 

Mexico, Mexico Business Publications S.A. de C.V. (n.d.). Mexico Mining Review 2021. Mexico Business Publications de C.V. 

Industrial Info Resources, Inc. (2021, April 06). Mining Sector Propels $14 Billion Project Capex in Mexico. Retrieved from https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2021/04/06/2205131/0/en/Mining-Sector-Propels-14-Billion-Project-Capex-in-Mexico.html 

Long Hole Mining Method Modeling

Long Hole Mining Method Modeling

A quick google search about this topic leads to results such as: long holes sublevel stoping, transverse longholestoping, long hole shrinkage stoping method, sublevel open stoping, and others. All these results resume to Shrinkage stoping and long hole stoping which happen to be the most used methods in the mining industry nowadays.  

Shrinkage stoping is used widely on steep ore bodies (70-90) and the holes depart from the bottom upwards, it could be backfilled or left empty depending on different factors.  

Longholestoping is a very popular method in underground mining for blasting a sequence of stopes in metalliferous mines. The holes are drilled according to a predetermined pattern designed by a mining engineer. This method is one of the most productive ones and covers a variety of ore thicknesses and dips (0 – 90).  This method unavoidable adds dilution (20%), but it offers advantages such as very high productivity and efficiency because the blasted rock falls into a supported drawpoint that is excavated below the stope bottom, and which allows for the removal of the blasted rock using remote control LHD or rail cars for longer transport. The method also offers mid-range mining cost and low hazardous conditions (easily ventilated).  

 

When it comes to modeling and putting this on paper there are many variables that are determinant on every single stage of the method (from planning the drill and blast patterns, to scanning the cavity and using different software for modeling representative solids in 3D). Currently, there are many software solutions in the industry for these different stages, but most of them do not encompass all the needs of a mining engineer.  

There are three main drill patters that are widely used by mining engineers for sublevel stopping: ring drilling, fan drilling and parallel drilling. These popular patterns can all be easily modeled with the use of Promine’s “Drill and Blast Underground” module.   

Once the blast sequency has been determined, it is time to blast! Once blasted we remove the rock and send it to the milling plant to extract the material of interest. 

 

Mining professionals depend on specific technologies through every single stage of development and production of a mine. The need for these specific technologies creates a particular challenge for software and hardware companies which must quickly adjust to the changing needs of the mining professionals. The mining industry also must constantly be adapting to new developments in mining methods, improved technologies and ever more demanding professionals. Whether we are users or developers, we all face problems that range from the simple to the complex and some of these problems will require the expertise of knowledgeable mining professionals that are part of a specific niche (programming, mining, geology, survey areas or others).  

 

When working as users during the planning of a drill pattern, we want everything to be simple and straightforward.  As users in an ideal world the interface of our mining software would contain all the features that would allow us to do anything, but as developers, we are trying to deliver only what clients need for their planning so unavoidably, the software will have certain limitations on the interface.   

 

As a software company we get many requests to integrate new features and improvement into our program and we are very happy to deliver all of these to our clients. For example, a software solution was completely integrated in our interface to allow the users to scan on real time the relative susceptibility and EM conductivity of the rock in a production hole by using a probe (SSW system from Instrumentation GDD).  The results are then displayed on a drawing of a drill pattern design.     

 

Image: Real time survey generated in Promine-AutoCAD using GDD SSW instrument.  

 

Our senior software developer, Pier-Alex Côté-Sarrazin, has commented that “The challenges on programming certain new features for external applications in our interface can vary”.  These challenges range from having poor content documentation for the application, to understanding how to establish communication from the hardware to the software.  Additional challenges are understanding which are the communication ports being used by the target application and the simple fact that an old technology is no longer compatible with a new technology, something we have all experienced with devices such as a very old iPod that you want to synchronize with the most recent version of iTunes and are not able to do it.   

 

Some of our clients’ requests have involved very particular challenges and changes that our software department has been ready and eager to tackle. Mining software companies such as Promine are constantly developing new solutions to rise to the challenges posed by ever evolving mining methods.  We adapt to these market needs by applying state of the art technology and the latest know-how when it comes to developing the solutions our customers expect from us.  

 

References:

Principales Materias Primas de la Industria Minera en México 

Principales Materias Primas de la Industria Minera en México 

A lo largo de la historia, México ha sido catalogado como un país minero, de hecho, es considerado uno de los más competitivos a nivel mundial, se encuentra entre los principales diez países que realizan la mayor extracción de minerales.  El desarrollo de la actividad minera resulta fundamental para su crecimiento económico, ya que aporta muchos beneficios al país, entre ellos podemos destacar su alcance social (generación de empleos, utilidades para los trabajadores, inversiones, crecimiento en infraestructura, bienestar regional y desarrollo social) y su importante aporte en el PIB del país 

Durante doce años consecutivos, México ha sido el líder mundial productor de Plata, en el año 2019 logró una producción de 6.300 toneladas (Bnamericas, 2020), además es uno de los mayores productores de oro, plomo, cobre y zinc. Tiene una relevante producción de Fluorita e incluso resalta como productora de Fierro. También es un importante productor de Carbón, destinado principalmente para el uso doméstico ya que aún no logra satisfacer el volumen que demanda para la industria energética y metalúrgica, sin embargo, apuntan a alcanzar ese objetivo. 

Según el Servicio Geológico Mexicano, el país ocupa el segundo lugar en la producción de fluorita, tercero en la producción de celestita y wollastonita; quinto en la producción mundial de molibdeno y plomo; sexto en la producción de bismuto, selenio, zinc y yeso; séptimo en la producción cobre y diatomita; noveno en la producción de oro, cadmio, barita y sal, duodécimo sitio en caolín y feldespato, y décimo tercer lugar en fierro. (SGM, 2020) 

México está decidido a utilizar su riqueza geológica para atraer la inversión minera y mejorar el rendimiento de esta industria desde todos los sectores clave. Las características naturales del país son oportunas para constituirse como uno de los países líderes en materia de minería, tiene importantes depósitos de minerales aún por explotar y cuenta con recursos minerales que deben ser aprovechados de forma sustentable, de esa manera podrán conciliar el crecimiento económico, potenciando el desarrollo a través del fortalecimiento de las actividades de exploración, explotación y tratamiento de minerales 

Sin duda alguna la producción de minerales en México seguirá siendo estratégica para el desarrollo nacional, ya que provee de materias primas a un amplio número de actividades industriales, genera empleo en zonas de difícil acceso, atrae importantes montos de inversión, se encuentra entre las principales industrias generadoras de divisas y contribuye al desarrollo local y regional. 

 

Referecias:  

Creating Drifts for Cut and Fill Mining Method

Creating Drifts for Cut and Fill Mining Method

The back and fill mining method is one of the most selective underground mining methods. It is highly selective and profitable, especially implemented when it comes to vertical veins that change constantly in direction. With Promine you will quickly create 3D models with the information that was surveyed and easily calculate volume, tonnage, overbreak’s, create sections, calculate the amount of ore mined and more.