It was back in the year 2014 when Mexico City based Grupo Mexico announced it had plans to modernize its ASARCO division’s copper smelter at Hayden, Ariz. to meet new U.S. EPA regulations pertaining to Sulfur Dioxide Emissions.
They had also estimated at that time it would probably cost $110 million to do the work. The smelter has been revamped through a major undertaking to meet tough new government regulations. Officials have now re-started the operations at the Hayden Smelter, which is expected to reach full production later this year. But the project cost a lot more than originally estimated.
Grupo Mexico in its second quarter financial results had this to say about the ASARCO smelter:
The modernization of the Hayden Smelter in Arizona has been completed to meet 100 percent with the new environmental regulations with an investment of U.S. $229 million. The foundry has state-of-the-art technology in converting ovens and in the collection and handling of gases and powders. It also has greater efficiency and will reach its new design capacity of copper concentrate smelting of 630,000 tons year. As of now, we are in the start-up phase reaching 80 percent capacity and we expect to reach 100 percent of capacity during the third quarter of this year.
In its latest financial results for the second quarter of the year ending June 30, 2018 Grupo Mexico said its consolidated net income was $459 million U.S., which was up 22 percent over the same 90-day period last year.
Stockholders were told consolidated sales were 19 percent higher at $2.66 billion. In the Mining Division, metal prices were higher. Copper, Zinc and Molybdenum all had increased 20 percent from a year ago
In the Transportation Division, sales increased 26 percent (Grupo Mexico owns most of the railroads in the Country of Mexico. It owns the ASARCO Copper mines in Arizona, along with other copper mines in Mexico and South America).
Copper production increased 7 percent over this time last year reaching 248.000 tons. The average cost for producing copper from all of its mining operations was 1.07 cents a pound. Capital investments for the quarter reached $1.31 billion
There have been production problems at the ASARCO Mission Mine south of Tucson. The company said, “On March 21, we had a landslide on the slopes at the Mission mine. Up to date the corresponding authorities have authorized the return to normal operations. We expect a recovery in Mission production for the second half of the year”
Shareholders were given the latest information about Grupo’s huge Buenavista Copper mine in the northern state of Sonora, Mexico southwest of Douglas, Ariz. This is the Buenavista zinc located within the Buenavista field in Sonora and consists of the construction of a concentrator with a production capacity of 80,000 tons of zinc and 20,000 tons additional copper per year.
Basic engineering has been completed and Grupo Mexico says it is working on the engineering phase of detail of the project. This investment has a budget of U.S. $ 413 million and is expected to start operating in 2020. Upon completion of this project, zinc production will double in the Mining Division