Armed Robbery Forces Pan American Silver to Temporarily Halt Operations at Mexican Mine

It’s the latest security incident affecting mining in Latin America, where criminal groups and illegal mines threaten formal operations in countries including Brazil, Mexico and Peru

Mexico General View
By Joe Deaux and James Attwood
October 09, 2023 | 07:52 AM

Bloomberg — Pan American Silver Corp. shut down all operations at one of its silver mines in Mexico as a precaution after an armed robbery of two trailers of concentrate.

The theft took place at the La Colorada mine in Zacatecas state in the early hours of Oct. 5, the Vancouver-based company said in a statement. There were no physical injuries to personnel.

“The mine site is currently secure, and Pan American has activated care and maintenance activities while it works with state and federal authorities regarding this incident,” the company said. “The suspension will continue until Pan American determines it is appropriate to resume operations.”

VIEW +
Colombia’s Inflation Hits 10.99%, Fuels Rate Cut Expectations as Cenbank Ponders Next Move

It’s the latest security incident affecting mining in Latin America, where criminal groups and illegal mines threaten formal operations in countries including Brazil, Mexico and Peru. While the price of silver has lost about 10% this year, it’s still up almost 50% over the last six years, an attractive target for thieves.

Metal theft and scams are a global phenomenon. In April, Canadian police investigated a heist at the nation’s busiest airport, which may have netted thieves more than $100 million in gold. Two years ago, commodities trader Mercuria Energy Group struck a deal to buy $36 million of copper from a Turkish supplier, only to find that cargoes arriving in China were full of painted rocks.