Fray International Sustainability Award

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Industrias Peñoles is a Mexican mining group involved in the extraction, smelting and refining of non-ferrous metals, as well as the production of chemicals. The group is divided into six units: mining (silver, gold, copper, zinc, tungsten, lead); exploration; metals; chemicals; technology and innovation; and energy. Peñoles' mining activities are conducted through its 77% owned subsidiary Fresnillo. Its operations include nine underground mines, two open pit mines, and refining complex Met-Mex Peñoles in Chihuahua state.

Peñoles is part of Grupo BAL, a private, diversified, consisting of independent Mexican companies, among which are Grupo Palacio de Hierro (department stores), Grupo Nacional Provincial (insurance); Profuturo GNP (AFORE) Mexican Securities - House Exchange (financial services); Credit surety (bail), and agribusiness.

Peñoles is a mining group with integrated operations in smelting and refining of nonferrous metals and processing chemicals. It is currently the largest producer of refined silver and metallic bismuth. It is the leading Latin American producer of refined gold and lead and is among the world's largest producers of refined zinc and sodium sulfate.

Rafael Javier
J. Hernandes & R. Gonzalez, Receiving the Fray International Sustainability Award from Dr. Florian Kongoli at FLOGEN SIPS 2012

Majors Sustainability Achievements

In Peñoles the actions related to Sustainability are in three dimensions (The Three E's)

The main achievements in the recent years in these three dimensions have been:

  1. Reducing Pb-in-blood levels in the neighboring population by means of
    • Sanitary control programs including
      • a soil remediation program
      • health practices and consciousness among the neighboring families.
    • Process technology for reducing emissions and dust handling
    • Containment of process buildings
  2. Minimizing fresh water usage to less than 5% of total water, treating 11,500 cu. m / day of residual water from the municipality for process usage. Peñoles water balance is ZERO DISCHARGE.
  3. Developing contractors and local businesses.
  4. Social programs to transfer best practices in safety, emergency response and health to the society. In this social aspect, Peñoles is proud of our Metals Museum that links our industry to local schools, universities and society in general.

Peñoles is continuing to move forward with improvements: The most recent approach, still in implementation, is Ecoefficiency. It is a work philosophy in which each proposed improvement is analyzed to make sure that it has a positive impact in all directions: safety, environmental, energy, water and cost. It is intended to be able to measure these impacts before and after the improvement. Peñoles approach includes involving all our workers in the improvement initiatives and promoting that they make and implement their suggestions.