Fresnillo plc (LON:FRES) has confirmed that all construction activities related to final tie-in to the electrical grid have been completed and all systems are ready to be energised. Prior to making the final tie-in to the electrical grid, as a precautionary measure to ensure uninterrupted service to the surrounding area, the state-owned electricity regulator, CFE (Comisión Federal de Electricidad), has requested additional testing to verify compatibility between new and updated substation equipment installed by Juanicipio and existing older CFE infrastructure. Specialised start-up protocols and operations controls may also need to be implemented during initial mill start-up to prevent local power fluctuations. Given the extensive preparatory and testing work already undertaken, the project team does not foresee any impediment to a successful conclusion to this precautionary measure.
Based on the timing of these tests, we expect that power for final commissioning and start of operations should be available by the end of October, and that production ramp up will commence immediately thereafter.
In the meantime, stoping, underground development and material stockpiling at Juanicipio will continue uninterrupted. We will continue to make available any unused plant capacity at Fresnillo and Saucito operations to process mineralised material produced at Juanicipio during this period.
As a result, there is no impact on full year production guidance, nor on expected production from Juanicipio in 2023 and beyond.
Octavio Alvídrez, Chief Executive Officer of Fresnillo said:
“We continue to make good progress to complete the tie-in of the new Juanicipio mine to the national grid and I am pleased that we are a step closer to achieve this important milestone. We have undertaken extensive testing work to ensure tie-in proceeds smoothly. However, safety has always been at the core of our activities and we fully understand the prudent approach taken by the electricity regulator. Juanicipio is our next major growth project, the ninth new mine we have successfully constructed since we listed in London in 2008. Juanicipio will make a material contribution to our production from 2023 and we look forward to its successful commissioning in the fourth quarter.”