Grupo México

Last updated
Grupo México S.A.B. de C.V.
Sociedad Anónima Bursátil de Capital Variable
Traded as BMV:  GMEXICO B
Industry Mining, Logistics
Founded 1978;40 years ago (1978)
Headquarters Mexico City, México
Key people
Germán Larrea Mota-Velasco, (Chairman & CEO)
Products Iron Ore, Copper, Railway transport
RevenueDecrease2.svg US$ 10.1 billion (2012) [1]
Decrease2.svg US$ 2.3 billion (2012) [1]
Number of employees

Grupo México is the largest mining corporation in Mexico and the third largest copper producer in the world through ASARCO.

Mining The extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth

Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein, seam, reef or placer deposit. These deposits form a mineralized package that is of economic interest to the miner.

Mexico country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

Copper Chemical element with atomic number 29

Copper is a chemical element with symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a pinkish-orange color. Copper is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, as a building material, and as a constituent of various metal alloys, such as sterling silver used in jewelry, cupronickel used to make marine hardware and coins, and constantan used in strain gauges and thermocouples for temperature measurement.


Ferrocarril Mexicano (Ferromex), the company's rail transport division, operates the nation's largest rail fleet.


The company was founded by Raul Antonio Escobedo and Larrea Mota Velasco in 1978. After the government of Carlos Salinas declared the state mining company bankrupt, Larrea purchased key Mexican copper mines in Cananea and Nacozari (cities in the state of Sonora). He also purchased numerous other mining sites, including coal mines in the state of Coahuila. By 2000, Grupo México was responsible for 87.5 percent of Mexico's copper production and is the world's third-largest copper producer in the world.

Grupo México has been in continual conflict with Local 65, the Cananea branch of the Mexican Mine Workers' Union (SNTMMSRM). During miners' strikes in January 2003 and October 2004, Grupo México responded with threats to close the Cananea mines.

In 2004, Grupo México has also purchased a controlling interest in the Southern Peru Copper Corporation. Grupo Mexico acquired 54.2% equity interest in Southern Peru Copper Corporation from ASARCO LLC, a mining company operating in the United States. The SPCC equity sale is subject to a litigation between Grupo Mexico and ASARCO pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas under District Court Judge Andrew Hanen. As of September 2009, ASARCO was the focus of a bidding war begun in May 2008 between its own parent company Grupo México and India-based Sterlite Industries. On August 31, 2009, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Richard Schmidt recommended that U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen accept Grupo México's $2.5 billion bid for ASARCO as it prepares to come out of bankruptcy.

Pollution and environmental issues

Cases in the US through ASARCO

These talls smokestacks at Asarco's El Paso Smeltertown site were brought down in 2013. ASARCO El Paso.jpg
These talls smokestacks at Asarco's El Paso Smeltertown site were brought down in 2013.

Asarco has been found responsible for environmental pollution at 20 Superfund sites across the U.S. by the Environmental Protection Agency. Those sites are:

Superfund United States federal law designed to clean up sites contaminated with hazardous substances

Superfund is a United States federal government program designed to fund the cleanup of sites contaminated with hazardous substances and pollutants. Sites managed under this program are referred to as "Superfund" sites. It was established as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). It authorizes federal natural resource agencies, primarily the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states and Native American tribes to recover natural resource damages caused by hazardous substances, though most states have and most often use their own versions of CERCLA. CERCLA created the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The EPA may identify parties responsible for hazardous substances releases to the environment (polluters) and either compel them to clean up the sites, or it may undertake the cleanup on its own using the Superfund and costs recovered from polluters by referring to the U.S. Department of Justice.

United States Environmental Protection Agency Agency of the U.S. Federal Government

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government for environmental protection. President Richard Nixon proposed the establishment of EPA on July 9, 1970 and it began operation on December 2, 1970, after Nixon signed an executive order. The order establishing the EPA was ratified by committee hearings in the House and Senate. The agency is led by its Administrator, who is appointed by the President and approved by Congress. The current Administrator is former Deputy Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler, who had been acting administrator since July 2018. The EPA is not a Cabinet department, but the Administrator is normally given cabinet rank.

  1. Interstate Lead Company, or ILCO, labeled EPA Site ALD041906173, and located in Leeds, Jefferson County, Alabama [2]
  2. Argo Smelter, Omaha & Grant Smelter, labeled EPA Site COD002259588, and located at Vasquez Boulevard and I-70 in Denver, Colorado [3]
  3. Smeltertown, a copper smelter used to illegally dispose of hazardous waste, in El Paso, El Paso County, Texas. The plant has since been dismantled. [4]
  4. California Gulch mine and river systems in Leadville, Colorado;
  5. Summitville Consolidated Mining Corp., Inc. (SCMCI), now bankrupt, EPA Site COD983778432, in Del Norte, Rio Grande County, Colorado;
  6. ASARCO Globe Plant, EPA Site COD007063530, Globeville, near South Platte River, Denver and Adams County, Colorado;
  7. Bunker Hill Mining and Metallurgical, Coeur d'Alene River Basin, Idaho;
  8. Kin-Buc Landfill in New Jersey;
  9. Tar Creek Superfund site (Ottawa County) lead and zinc operations and surrounding residences in Oklahoma;
  10. Commencement Bay, Near Shore/Tide Flats smelter, groundwater, and residences in Tacoma and Ruston, Washington.

Cases in Mexico

Pasta de Conchos mine disaster

On February 19, 2006, an explosion occurred in a coal mine in San Juan de Sabinas, Coahuila, that is owned by Grupo México. It was reported that mine workers had gone on strike against Grupo México at least 14 times, "not only for salary increases… but because of its constant refusal to review security and health measures." Grupo México said that they, in conjunction with the mining union, signed a certificate on February 7, 2006 declaring the mine safe. [5]

Although the mining operations of a coal deposit is always a risky business, due to the possibility of huge gas concentrations, there are certain theories that indicate the mine has an important lack of safety rules, very similar to the problem presented in the Sago Mine disaster in West Virginia with the accident that caused death of 12 miners on January 2, 2006. Union critics of the company openly refer to the incident as a "homicide." [6]

After the successful rescue of 33 trapped miners in October 2010 in Copiapó, Chile, the case gained popularity again, and many people including bishop Raúl Vera demanded that the case be reopened. Grupo México has not responded. [7]

According to the IndustriALL Global Union, as of August 2016, "Ten years after the mining homicide at Pasta de Conchos, Mexico, the government has still not conducted a thorough investigation into the real causes of the disaster, brought those responsible to justice, recovered the bodies or compensated the families of the victims." [6]

Rio Sonora spill

On August 6, 2014 40,000 cubic meters of copper sulphate were spilled on Sonora River and Bacanuchi River by Buenavista del Cobre mine. This has been considered the largest environmental spillage in Mexico's history, polluting 7 municipal districts from Sonora state and affecting by October more than 20,000 people. Pollution has been reported to be reaching Arizona. Though a trustfund was created to assist the damaged population, complains about its management and proper ecological cleaning have been expressed. [8] A second spillage, this time sulfur dioxide was reported [9]

Rail operations

Grupo Ferroviario Mexicano, S.A. de C.V.

Runs Mexico’s largest and most profitable railway with near 9,600 kilometres (6,000 miles) of tracks and 15,000 carloads, transporting over 40% of all the rail cargo of the country. GMEXICO acquired the rail concession from the Mexican federal government for 100 years in 1998. GMEXICO owns 74% and Union Pacific 26% of the company. The railway, known as FERROMEX, has the largest coverage of the nation’s railway system. The rail system connects the main cities in the country, where 70% of industrial production is created and services five land ports on the border with USA, four seaports on the Pacific Ocean and two on the Gulf of Mexico.

Intermodal México, S.A. de C.V.

Operates since November 2001. Its objective is to develop and provide multi-modal services and logistics for load transportation. For such purposes it has constructed facilities in Guadalajara, Monterrey, Torreón, Silao, Saltillo and is in the process of constructing several other facilities in major cities of central and Northern Mexico.

Texas Pacifico, Inc.

Holds and operates the Texas Pacifico railroad in the United States that interconnects the border point Ojinaga, Chihuahua Presidio, Texas with the city of Fort Worth, Texas.


On November 25, 2005, the railroad division acquired the company Ferrosur, creating a monopoly over the industry. This Transaction was duly notified to the Mexican Antitrust Commission.

See also


  1. ^ US Geological Survey; Gillian O'Connor, "LatAm copper giants want place on global stage," Financial Times , 24 August 2000.
  2. ^ "Grupo Mexico Threatens to Shut Down Cananea if Strike Continues," Engineering and Mining Journal, Vol. 204, No. 4, February 2003, pages 14–15; "Workers Strike at Mexican Copper Mine," Associated Press, 15 October 2004.
  3. ^ Sara Silver, "Approval expected for Grupo Mexico/ S Peru Copper," Financial Times , 23 October 2004.
  4. ^ "Mexican mine blast traps workers," BBC News, 20 February 2006. Link to article

Related Research Articles

Ferromex company

Ferromex is a private rail consortium that operates the largest railway in Mexico with combined mileage of 7500 miles and is part of the North American Class I railroads.

Phelps Dodge company

Phelps Dodge Corporation was an American mining company founded in 1834 as an import-export firm by Anson Greene Phelps and his two sons-in-law William Earle Dodge, Sr. and Daniel James. The latter two ran Phelp, James & Co., the part of the organization based in Liverpool, England. The import-export firm at first exported United States cotton from the Deep South to England, and imported various metals to the US needed for industrialization. With the expansion of the western frontier in North America, the corporation acquired mines and mining companies, including the Copper Queen Mine in Arizona and the Dawson, New Mexico coal mines. It operated its own mines and acquired railroads to carry its products. By the late 19th century, it was known as a mining company.


ASARCO LLC is a mining, smelting, and refining company based in Tucson, Arizona, which mines and processes primarily copper. The company is a subsidiary of Grupo México.

Kennecott Utah Copper

Kennecott Utah Copper LLC (KUC), a division of Rio Tinto Group, is a mining, smelting, and refining company. Its corporate headquarters are located in South Jordan, Utah, USA. Kennecott operates the Bingham Canyon Mine, one of the largest open-pit copper mines in the world in Bingham Canyon, Salt Lake County, Utah. The company was first formed in 1898 as the Boston Consolidated Mining Company. The current corporation was formed in 1989. The mine and associated smelter produce 1% of the world's copper.

Peñoles Penoles

Peñoles is a subsidiary company owned by Grupo BAL. Peñoles is the second largest Mexican mining company, the first Mexican producer of gold, zinc and lead and the world leader in silver production. Peñoles is a company with active mines within Mexico and with some prospection projects in South America. Holdings includes the Fresnillo Silver Mine / Mina Proaño, the Met-Mex Peñoles metallurgical complex and Química del Rey; a Chemical facility; three operations. Peñoles produces about 80,500,000 troy ounces (2,500,000 kg) of silver and 756,100 troy ounces (23,520 kg) of gold annually. Other metals that the company produces are zinc, lead, copper, bismuth, and cadmium.

Cananea Municipality Municipality in Sonora, Mexico

Cananea is a municipality in the northern portion of the Mexican state of Sonora, on the U.S. border. Its municipal seat is the city of Cananea, located at 30°58′55″N110°18′02″W.

The Mexico North-Western Railway or Compañía del Ferrocarril Nor-Oeste de México was a railroad that operated in Mexico between Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua, via Nuevo Casas Grandes in the western portion of the state of Chihuahua. Prior to 1909, it was known as the Rio Grande, Sierra Madre & Pacific Railway. It was built with mostly Canadian capital in order to reach logging and mining operations. Its subsidiary operation, the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad, extended into the USA at El Paso, Texas. In 1954 the railway was merged into the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México and the El Paso Southern sold to the Southern Pacific railroad. During the latter years of operation (1947-1954), the railway was controlled by tunnel magnate "Subway Sam" Rosoff, who also controlled large lumber interests along the route.

James Stuart Douglas Jr. (1867–1949), popularly known as Rawhide Jimmy, was a Canadian-American businessman and mining executive.

Cananea strike

The Cananea strike, also known as the Cananea riot, or the Cananea massacre, took place in the Mexican mining town of Cananea, Sonora, in June 1906. Although the workers were forced to return to their positions with no demand being met, the action was a key event in the general unrest that emerged during the final years of the regime of President Porfirio Díaz and that prefigured the Mexican Revolution of 1910. In the incident twenty-three people died, on both sides, twenty-two were injured, and more than fifty were arrested.

Louis Davidson Ricketts was an American economic geologist, metallurgist, mining engineer and banker who pioneered development of copper mines in the U.S. state of Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora.

Southern Copper Corporation

Southern Copper Corporation is a mining company that was founded in 1952. The current incarnation of Southern Copper can be traced to the 2005 acquisition of Mexican copper producer Minera México by Southern Peru Copper Corporation.

The El Paso and Southwestern Railroad was a short-line American railway company which operated in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, with line extensions across the international border into Mexico. The railroad was known as the Arizona and South Eastern Railroad from 1888 to 1902.

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William Cornell Greene American businessman

Colonel William Cornell Greene was an American businessman who was famous for discovering rich copper reserves in Cananea, Mexico, and for founding the Greene Consolidated Copper Company in 1899. By 1905, Greene was one of the wealthiest businessmen in the world.

Toquepala mine mine in Peru

The Toquepala mine is a large porphyry copper mine in the Tacna Province, Tacna Department, Peru. The mine is an open-pit mine producing copper, molybdenum, rhenium and silver with minor gold and zinc.

Bunker Hill Mine and Smelting Complex

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Lead smelting

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International Smelting and Refining Company

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  1. 1 2 GRUPO MEXICO SAB DE CV-SER B (GMEXICOB:Mexico): Financial Statements - Businessweek. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  2. ILCO EPA. Retrieved 4/10/08.
  3. Argo Smelter, Omaha and Grant Smelter, EPA. Retrieved 4/10/08.
  4. El Paso Smelter Timeline, EPA. Retrieved 7/23/2012.
  5. Search for Mexican miners suspended Diario , Ciudad Juárez, February 25, 2006.
  6. 1 2 "Still no justice, ten years after the Pasta de Conchos homicide". IndustriALL Global Union. August 2, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  7. Chilean rescue revives anger in Mexico over 2006 miners' tragedy, Monsters and Critics, October 14, 2010.
  8. "Nos estan dejando morir. Habitantes del Río sonora"
  9. Profepa Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (Spanish)