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CHART OF THE WEEK: Mexico & Peru Silver Production Big Declines Again In May

CHART OF THE WEEK: Mexico & Peru Silver Production Big Declines Again In May

According to the data released by Mexico and Peru’s governmental mining data, domestic silver production continued to be depressed in May.  Interestingly, the production data just released from Mexico’s INEGI shows that the country’s silver production in May was even less than what they reported for April.

I first wrote about this in my article, World’s Two Largest Silver Producers Mine Supply Cut Drastically In April.  The combined silver production loss from Mexico and Peru in April was 432 metric tons or 53% versus the same month last year.  Peru accounted for the largest of the decline in April at 237 metric tons (mt) compared to 195 mt for Mexico.

However, Mexico’s silver production in May dropped to 298 mt compared to 301 mt in April.  Here is the combined silver production by Mexico and Peru from April 2019 to May 2020:

The net loss of silver production from Mexico and Peru over the last three month period (March to May) is 770 mt, or 32% less than it was during the same period last year.  Thus, just these two countries have lost nearly 25 million oz of silver production.  I imagine once we factor in losses of silver production from other countries, we could see upwards of 35-40+ million oz decline so far.

But, this is only PHASE ONE of the collapse in global silver production.  I stated that as the U.S. and the global economy begin to roll-over in the second half of 2020, and onwards, we are going to see a reduction in base metal demand.   With so many people becoming unemployed, the global recession-depression will cause a significant decrease in copper, zinc, and lead demand.  Thus, in PHASE TWO, demand for base metals will decline, and with it, the curtailment of copper, zinc, and lead production.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘Catastrophic Flooding Expected’ – Hanna Hammers Virus-Infected South Texas

‘Catastrophic Flooding Expected’ – Hanna Hammers Virus-Infected South Texas

Tropical storm conditions are expected for South Texas and northeastern Mexico on Sunday after Hurricane Hanna roared ashore on Saturday as a Category 1 storm. 

Hanna was the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and came ashore on Saturday afternoon around Port Mansfield, Texas, with maximum sustained winds of 90mph. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) downgraded the hurricane to a tropical storm early Sunday.

Chris Birchfield, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Brownsville, told AP News the storm’s real threat continues to be heavy rainfall. “We’re still expecting catastrophic flooding,” he said. 

Rainfall estimates are in the range of 6 to 12 inches through Sunday night, with isolated areas could receive upwards of 18 inches. Willacy County, Texas, which is near Brownsville and the border with Mexico, has already reported 12.6 inches. Brownsville is reporting 5.6 inches and Reynosa, a city in Mexico, has already seen 11 inches. 

Here’s the latest update on Hanna via NWS: 

Here’s the latest update on Hanna via the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

PERU EXTENDS LOCK-DOWN ALONG WITH MEXICO: An Estimated 40% Of Global Silver Mine Supply Now Offline

PERU EXTENDS LOCK-DOWN ALONG WITH MEXICO: An Estimated 40% Of Global Silver Mine Supply Now Offline

Now that the Peruvian Government announced an extension of the country’s state of emergency until April 26th, the world’s first and second-largest silver producers have taken 40% of global silver mine supply offline for a month.  Actually, Peru first announced its national quarantine on March 15th.  So, the country’s mines will be shut down for more than a month when the state of emergency is projected to end on April 26th.  But, will it?

According to the Reuters article, Peru’s Vizcarra extends state of emergency to April 26th; thecountry will remain on lockdown for an additional two weeks:

Including Mexico’s state of emergency issued on April 2nd to last until the end of the month, the total estimated silver production lost from these two countries could be 28 million oz (Moz).  That is 40% of global mine supply. But, what if additional mines have been shut down in other countries?

As I stated in previous articles and my Youtube video updates, we could see between 100-150 Moz of global silver mine supply lost this year.  However, if we just consider the estimated 28 Moz of silver production lost from Mexico and Peru, that would equal 28,000 of the 1,000 oz wholesale silver bars.

With the continued surge in demand for silver bullion pushing availability of products back weeks and for months, it has also impacted the 1,000 oz wholesale silver bar market. How will the reduction of 28,000 wholesale 1,000 oz silver bars impact the market in the next few months??  Good question.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

In Late Thriller, OPEC Production Cut Deal Collapses After Mexico Gives Crown Prince The Finger

In Late Thriller, OPEC Production Cut Deal Collapses After Mexico Gives Crown Prince The Finger

Earlier today we reported that following a dramatic objection to the OPEC+ production cut which was agreed upon by Russia and Saudi Arabia (but few other OPEC members), Mexico had initially threatened to quit OPEC as it refused to comply with the imposed 23% cut forced on all members, but less than an hour later the southern US neighbor reportedly had changed its mind as Reuters reported that Mexico had in fact agreed to the OPEC+ production cut deal after all.

Well, scratch all that because it appears the Reuters “news” was fake, sourced from some conflicted Saudi minister who wanted to put Mexico in a position where it had no choice but to accept the reality that had been imposed upon it. Unfortunately for the Saudis, this “plan” was laughable and late on Thursday, Mexico logged off the OPEC+ alliance’s videoconference emergency meeting after nine hours of talks Thursday, without agreeing to the landmark 10 million b/d production cut accord that members were hoping could stem a bruising rout in oil prices caused by the coronavirus pandemic and send the price of oil surging, S&P Global Platts reported, whose sources we can now confirm are far more credible than those of Reuters.

The rest of the coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, were in discussions over how to proceed, with many ministers angry over the potential blow-up of the deal.  The coalition will likely try to convince Mexico again Friday at a G20 energy ministerial that was originally scheduled to seek the participation of the US, Canada, Brazil and other key producers outside of OPEC+ to join its efforts.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

GLOBAL SILVER SUPPLY COLLAPSE ON ITS WAY: Mexico mining suspension to hit silver supply

GLOBAL SILVER SUPPLY COLLAPSE ON ITS WAY: Mexico mining suspension to hit silver supply

Due to Mexico’s Ministry of Health issuing an Executive Order for the immediate suspension of non-essential activities until April 30th, the mining industry in the country has now come to an abrupt halt.  The mining industry was hoping for an exemption to the Executive Order, but was not granted one.  So, companies are now suspending production and putting their mines on care and maintenance.

According to the article on the Mining Journal website, Mexico mining suspension to hit silver supply:

Under the government decree, non-essential activities are to be suspended immediately until April 30.

The decision is expected to have a significant impact on the supply of silver at a time when demand for silver coins is high. Mexico is the world’s largest silver producer at some 23% of world production and produced more than 200 million ounces in 2019, up from 196.6 million ounces in 2018.

With Mexico shutting down its mines, including the continued closure of Peru’s Mining Industry announced on March 15th, nearly 40% of global silver production is offline. Peru’s government stated that the national quarantine would last 15 days.  However, we have passed that point, and there is no announcement of a return back to work.

Here are the top ten silver producing countries in the world in 2018:

In 2018, Mexico and Peru accounted for 342 million oz of silver production.  If mines in Mexico and Peru remain shut down for a month, that will cut silver production by 28 million oz.  So, each month that Mexico and Peru are offline, would reduce silver mine supply by 28 million oz.  However, I believe we are going to see more countries shut down their mines for an extended period as the global contagion continues to spread.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

THE MASSIVE 46 STORY TALL STRUCTURE: The Penasquito Mine Tailings Dam

THE MASSIVE 46 STORY TALL STRUCTURE: The Penasquito Mine Tailings Dam

The colossal Penasquito Mine’s tailings dam will reach a stunning height of a 46 story skyscraper over the next decade.  That is, if the mine reopens and is allowed to continue business as usual.  Newmont-Goldcorp suspended operations at Mexico’s second largest silver mine on April 29th, due to a blockade stemming from issues with the local community in regards to water supply concerns and problems with a trucking contractor.

Last year, the Penasquito Mine produced 272,000 oz of gold and over 18 million oz of silver.  However, it plans on producing over 5 million oz of gold and 400+ million oz of silver over the next decade.

After I published my article, MORE TROUBLE IN MEXICO: Second Largest Silver Mine Suspended Operations, I did some research on Penasquito’s tailings dam, and when I saw a photo of the dam, I was literally shocked by its massive size.  I never really gave it much thought about where all the waste ended up after the processing of ore was finished.  It’s a typical problem we all deal with today, OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND.

Let me start by saying that the tailings dam is so large; it surpasses the size of the Penasquito open-pit mine itself. For clarification, the tailings dam (or ponds) are used to store the processed waste slurry after the metals have been extracted.  Here is a layout of the Penasquito Mining Operation:

(image courtesy of Goldcorp 2018 Tailings & Mine Waste Conference PDF report)

As you can see, the tailings dam is 4 kilometers long compared to the Penasquito open-pit mine, which is about half its size.  However, this layout doesn’t give the epic scale of the tailings dam justice.  According to the images in Goldcorp’s 2018 Tailings & Mine Waste Conference PDF, and data from the company’s Feb 2019 Penasquito Mine Tour Presentation, the tailings dam is currently 85 meters tall, or nearly 280 feet in height:

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

MORE TROUBLE IN MEXICO: Second Largest Silver Mine Suspended Operations

MORE TROUBLE IN MEXICO: Second Largest Silver Mine Suspended Operations

In just a little more than a week after the mighty Newmont-Goldcorp merger was finalized, the company suspended operations of its largest gold-silver mine in Mexico.  The Penasquito Mine, which produced more than a 500,000 ounces of gold and 25 million ounces of silver in a single year, has been dealing with a blockade of its operations since March 27th.

The blockade was started due to issues with the local community in regards to water supply concerns and problems with a trucking contractor.  However, the protests by the local community over water rights have been going on ever since the Penasquito Mine started operations in 2010.

According to the article, Goldcorp using excessive water at Peñasquito mine – critics, research by McGill Research Group, reported that the Penasquito Mine was using three times the amount of water than it originally agreed upon.  Furthermore, the large open-pit gold-silver mine, located in the state of Zacatecas, was also consuming three times the amount of water supplied to the entire City of Zacatecas (population 129,000).

To get an idea the amount of water being consumed by the Penasquito Mine, I looked at the data from Goldcorp’s most recent Sustainability Report. In 2017, the Penasquito Mine withdrew a staggering 7.9 billion gallons of water to supply its operations for the year.  Of that total amount, 93% came from groundwater. That is one hell of a lot of water.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the suspension to end.  However, with the election of the new President AMLO of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, large foreign mining companies in Mexico may find it increasingly challenging to GET THEIR WAY as they have in the past with the help of pro-mining leaders.

Regardless, the Penasquito Mine produced the second highest amount of silver in Mexico last year:

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Volcano That Could Completely Cover Mexico City With Volcanic Ash Just Erupted 200 Times In A 24 Hour Period

A Volcano That Could Completely Cover Mexico City With Volcanic Ash Just Erupted 200 Times In A 24 Hour Period

The most dangerous volcano in Mexico just erupted 200 times in a 24 hour period, but there has been an almost total blackout about this in the U.S. media.  Authorities are saying that the odds of more volcanic activity at Mt. Popocatepetl are “immediate to high”, and if a full-blown Plinian eruption were to occur it would be the worst natural disaster in the modern history of North America.  Approximately 26 million people live within 60 miles of Popocatepetl’s crater, and so we are talking about the potential for death and destruction on a scale that is difficult to imagine.  In ancient times, Mt. Popocatepetl buried entire Aztec cities in super-heated mud, but then it went to sleep for about 1,000 years.  Unfortunately for us, it started waking up again in the 1990s, and now this is the most active that we have seen it ever since the volcano originally reawakened.

What we have witnessed over the last several days has been nothing short of stunning.  According to a British news source, a level three yellow alert was put into effect after “200 eruptions were recorded in just 24 hours”…

Popocatépetl volcano, just 35 miles from Mexico City and 20 miles from Puebla sent ash and plumes of smoke more than 1.5 miles high. Mexico’s National Centre for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED) has warned people to keep away from Popocatépetl after 200 eruptions were recorded in just 24 hours. A level three yellow alert has been issued meaning the chance of volcanic activity is immediate to high.

At this point a 7.5 mile “security radius” has been established around the volcano, and if things continue to get worse authorities will be forced to begin large scale evacuations.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NEXT OIL DOMINO TO FALL? Mexico Becomes A Net Oil Importer

NEXT OIL DOMINO TO FALL? Mexico Becomes A Net Oil Importer

While Mexico suffered the bloodiest year of violent deaths in 2018, even bigger trouble may be ahead for the embattled country.  For the first time in more than 50 years, Mexico has become a net importer of oil.  This is undoubtedly bad news for the Mexican Government as it has relied upon its oil revenues to fund a large percentage of its public spending.

However, it wasn’t always this way.  After the discovery of the huge Cantarell Oil Field in the Gulf of Mexico in 1976, Mexico’s oil production surged from 894,000 barrels per day to a peak of 3.8 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2004.  That year, Mexico’s net oil exports exceeded 1.8 mbd.

Unfortunately, the downturn of Mexico’s oil production was mainly due to the peak and decline of the Cantarell Oil Field, which topped out at 2.1 mbd in 2004 and is now below 135,000 barrels per day:

With the rapid decline in Cantarell’s oil production, Mexico’s net oil exports also plummeted from 1.8 mbd in 2004 to only 314,000 barrels per day in 2017.  However, the situation for Mexico’s net oil exports continued to deteriorate in 2018 as its domestic oil supply fell to a new low at the end of the year.

According to several sources, the BP 2018 Statistical Review, IEA’s OMR Reports, and the EIA’s data on World Oil Production, Mexico became a net oil importer in November 2018:

I find it strange that this has not yet been mentioned in the news as it is a very critical factor for the future of Mexico.  Now, I would like to qualify that the data I am using is accurate.  I found Mexico’s total petroleum production and consumption data from the EIA, the U.S. Energy Information Agency’s World Oil Production Browser, the IEA’s, the International Energy Agency OMR Reports, and BP’s 2018  Statistical Review.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

It’s Happening – The Most Dangerous Volcano In North America Just Erupted And Shot Ash Nearly A Mile Into The Sky

It’s Happening – The Most Dangerous Volcano In North America Just Erupted And Shot Ash Nearly A Mile Into The Sky

A lot of us have been watching Mt. Popocatepetl for a very long time.  Could it be possible that we are now on the verge of the most destructive volcanic eruption in the modern history of North America?  On Monday night at precisely 9:38 PM, a massive explosion at Mt. Popocatepetl sent a column of volcanic ash nearly a mile into the sky.  A “yellow alert warning” has been issued by the authorities, and they are ordering everyone to stay at least 12 kilometers away from the crater.  They are stressing that the threat has not passed, and as you will see below, an evacuation plan is in place in case an even larger eruption follows.  And if a much larger eruption does follow, the devastation could be off the charts.  Mexico City is only 43 miles away from Mt. Popocatepetl, and approximately 25 million people live within a 60 mile radius of the crater.

The explosion on Monday night was definitely a wake up call.  According to media reports, it was “loud enough to shake doors and windows of houses in the city of Puebla”

Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano erupted late on Monday, hurling incandescent rock about 1.5 miles down its slopes and sending ash into the night sky near the nation’s capital.

The explosion, one of the volcano’s largest eruptions in years, was heard from nearby communities and was loud enough to shake doors and windows of houses in the city of Puebla, according to local media.

Mt. Popocatepetl has been increasingly active in recent months, and authorities are concerned that all of this activity could be leading up to something really big.

In fact, it is being reported that they are “currently preparing for the worst case scenarios”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What collapse is like: Guadalajara Mexico

What collapse is like: Guadalajara Mexico

Preface.  Collapse can be local rather than national. There are 5 states within Mexico the State Department warns not to travel to: Colima,Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas because violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, are widespread. There are 11 more states the state department says you should reconsider travel due to violent crime and gang activity being widespread: Chihuaua, Coahulla, Durango, Estado de Mexico, Jalisco, Morelos, Nayrit, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, Sonora, Zacatecas.

There are patterns to what happens in a collapsing city or state or nation that are common to all places and all times. If you’re curious how things will go down in the U.S. at some point during the Great Simplification, this article will give you an idea of what to expect.  Though given the extremely high level of gun ownership in the U.S., it could be worse…

Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Practical Prepping, KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, Peak Prosperity , XX2 report


William Finnegan. July 2, 2012.  The Kingpins. The fight for Guadalajara. The New Yorker.

At the Guadalajara International Book Fair, Enrique Peña Nieto, who is forty-five, boyishly handsome, and generally expected to be the next President of Mexico, was asked to name three books that had influenced him. He mentioned the Bible, or, at least, “some parts” (unspecified), and “The Eagle’s Throne,” a Carlos Fuentes novel (though he named the historian Enrique Krauze as the author). And, for a few excruciating minutes, that was all he could come up with. The crowd laughed wickedly. Peña Nieto’s wife, a former soap-opera star, squirmed in the front row. His teen-age daughter didn’t help matters when, in a tweet, she scorned “all of the idiots who form part of the proletariat and only criticize those they envy.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mexico’s Oil Crisis Deepens

Mexico’s Oil Crisis Deepens

Pemex oil

Mexico’s state oil company Pemex said it produced an average 1.76 million bpd of crude in October, down 7 percent from October last year, Reuters reports, citing data released by the company. This is also one of the lowest monthly production rates since 1990 when records began.

The decline was attributed to the natural depletion of mature fields, highlighting the urgent need for new production in the country. The outgoing government of Enrique Pena Nieto launched a sweeping reform in Mexico’s energy sector, one of its aims being to open up the local oil wealth to foreign operators in order to stem this decline in production. The incoming government is currently reviewing oil contracts signed by the previous administration to make sure no corruption was involved in the deals.

Exports of crude also declined last month, and by a lot more than production. Pemex exported an average 1.03 million bpd, down by 25 percent from a year earlier. President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador earlier this year said Pemex should keep more crude for its refineries instead of exporting it to reduce Mexico’s dependency on imported fuels, but the country’s refining sector needs a lot of work to make this plan successful.

It was in October that Pemex’s refineries hit a record low utilization rate of 25.7 percent, according to an S&P Global Platts report, which also noted the causes of the drop included shortages of light crude and technical difficulties at some refineries. Pemex would need to upgrade its refineries to produce more gasoline to make local refining more profitable as currently its facilities produce a lot more fuel oil than would make economic sense.

Despite the problems, Obrador has ambitious plans, including an increase in crude oil production to 2.6 million bpd by the end of his six-year term in office and a lot more domestic refining.

Tectonic Plate Splits in Two Raising Risks for West Coast

San Andreas Fault in California Can Be Observed from the Sky

Recent studies have revealed that the massive earthquake which stuck Mexico actually split a tectonic plate in two. This has done more than just shaken the ground. It has also shaken up the geologist community for this may even introduce a greater risk to California. That quake took place on September 7th, 2017, and was a magnitude 8.2 earthquake that struck southern Mexico. Earthquakes are common events around the world in different degrees. However, this powerful event wasn’t any run-of-the-mill tremor. It actually split the tectonic plate itself.

Normally, earthquakes take place where two tectonic plates meet. They constantly move around Earth’s surface, either grinding side by side, or they will crumble which ends up creating mountain ranges. They can also descend under another plate in what is referred to as a subduction zone. However, this one was a huge intraslab quake which resulted in breaking a plate in two. This means there is now a greater risk for more earthquakes along this fault line.

Defiant Energy Policy of Mexico’s President-Elect Rattles Moody’s and Fitch

Defiant Energy Policy of Mexico’s President-Elect Rattles Moody’s and Fitch

But it’s going to be tough; he’ll need more than luck to pull it off.

Moody’s has rated the $2 billion of senior unsecured notes due 2029 that Mexico’s state-owned oil company Pemex is in the process of issuing one notch above junk. Pemex is offering to pay a coupon interest rate of 6.5%. In its report on Friday, Moody’s blamed the company’s “weak liquidity, a heavy tax burden and the resulting weak free cash flow, high financial leverage and low interest coverage; and challenges related to crude production and reserve replacement.”

Moody’s is also worried about the large amounts of debt coming due in 2020 and beyond. And Pemex will continue to be “dependent on debt capital markets to fund negative free cash flow,” it said.

Fitch Ratings downgraded the outlook for Pemex’s debt from stable to negative amid concerns about the incoming government’s proposed energy policies. It rates Pemex three notches above “junk” (BBB+), but only because the company is state-owned. Its standalone credit profile — if Pemex were not backstopped by the Mexican state — is junk, seven notches into junk (CCC).

Fitch has also warned earlier that if Pemex’s credit rating drops, so, too, will Mexico’s sovereign debt rating. Even a small deterioration in credit risk could exact a heavy toll on both the company and the country.

The outlook revision to negative from stable “reflects the increased uncertainty about Pemex’s future business strategy coupled with the company’s deteriorating standalone credit profile,” Fitch said in its report.

Fitch’s downward revision was cited by analysts as one possible factor in the fall of the peso last week to its lowest level in over a month. CI Banco analyst James Salazar said that Fitch’s Pemex assessment is a reminder that the company’s “finances should continue to be handled with great caution so as not to cause additional imbalances that will increase its debt.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Category 3 Hurricane Willa Makes Landfall In Mexico Tonight – 500,000 Tourists In Path 

Category 3 Hurricane Willa is expected to make landfall in and around Mexico’s Pacific Coast Tuesday evening with “life-threatening storm surge, wind, and rainfall,” according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Willa briefly sustained Category 5 storm with 160 mph winds on Monday, then weakened in the overnight to a Category 3, but still packs a significant punch with sustained winds around 125 mph.

As of Tuesday morning, Willa passed through Las Islas Marias, an archipelago of four islands 60 miles offshore of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.Willa is expected to make landfall near Isla del Bosque around or after 6 pm this evening, local time.

“An extremely dangerous storm surge is likely along portions of the coast of southwestern Mexico in southern Sinaloa and Nayarit, especially near and to the south of where the center of Willa makes landfall,” the NHC said Tuesday.

Hurricane warnings are posted from San Blas Mazatlan along the western Mexico coastline. Tropical storm warnings extend to surrounding areas, including Bahia Tempehuaya, Playa Perula, and Puerto Vallarta.

Forecasters expect the storm to make landfall this evening just south of Mazatlan, a resort town with about 500,000 people mainly from U.S. and Canada, said The Washington Post.

When Willa’s core slams into the resort town this evening, there is a strong possibility that widespread tree damage, power outages, flooding, and structural damage could be seen.

The Weather Channel expects six to 12 inches of rain — and at most 18 inches — in and around landfall areas. The resort town has terrain that quickly transitions from beaches to mountains terrain, which has a high risk of flash flooding and landslides.

Although Willa is less impressive since it reached peak intensity on Monday, it was the rapid intensification of the storm from Sunday to early Monday that caught many forecasters off guard.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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