The Cerro Los Gatos Mine is a silver-lead-zinc underground mine, located approximately 120kms south of Chihuahua, Mexico. The mine is operated by Minera Plata Real, a joint venture between Gatos Silver Inc. and Dowa Metals & Mining Co.

Cementation, in a joint venture with a local contractor, began the initial portal and main drift development in 2017 and was later awarded further work to develop the underground infrastructure.

The challenge for Cementation was to develop a local team of miners and engineers who subscribed to its safety culture and systems.

There were many initial challenges to overcome, including a mentality of “miners mining and bosses bossing” that had to be addressed and overcome before building an interdependent safety culture where safety became the primary measurable deliverable.

This was achieved with a positive approach that coached and encouraged employees to make individual commitments to safety and that rewarded safe work. Mentoring and coaching ensured the safety leadership teams embodied a proactive safety culture, displaying visible felt leadership and creating momentum towards Zero Harm. These actions resulted in a total reportable incident frequency rate of 0,61 in 2021, much improved from 1,75 in 2019.

After four years, Cementation Mining Mexico is currently bidding on additional projects to build on its successes at the Los Gatos project.