Fresnillo plc, the world's largest primary silver producer, extends its legacy of leadership by sharing the health benefits of silver with communities in need
Architecting The Future
Octavio tried very hard not to be a miner – like his dad. Even though he had been born and raised in the mining camps of Mexico, he didn't want to "take the easy route" and go straight into mining as his job. Mining might be in his blood, his earliest memories might be set around mines, and his fondest recollections would always be of friends and family amongst the mining community, but instead, he set out to study architecture.
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Didn’t last long, Octavio will tell you. He had a dilemma – all his experiences were in mining, what he actually enjoyed was mining, what he wanted to do was mining. So he went back and told his dad, who – truth be told – was shocked. And so Octavio became a miner. And now Octavio Alvídrez is CEO of Fresnillo. Has been since 2012.
Perhaps, though, a little of the would-be architect remains in Octavio. Working from a blank sheet of paper, sketching out a vision, seeing it materialise. Listen to him describe his journey of what happened next, after he quit architecture: “So I studied mining. And I came to Peñoles (now the parent company of Fresnillo). It’s been a fantastic ride – seeing things you imagined first, putting it together, seeing the result. Fantastic. From when I was a kid in the mining camps, to Fresnillo, up to this level.”

And now even more with the Pure Silver Initiative, which Fresnillo has thrown its weight behind as Mexico’s – and the world’s – largest silver producer. Because Octavio recognises that with leadership, comes responsibility. You can hear Octavio talk about the Pure Silver Initiative in the above video.

If you listen carefully, you’ll hear a little of the architect – still determined to make his own way in life, to do something different, however difficult – when he says that the initiative has the scope to reach in many directions, local, nationally and internationally.  In fact, you’ll hear Octavio describing the situation that faced Fresnillo – and the mining industry – before the arrival of the Pure Silver Initiative, as a “dilemma”. Same word he used to describe the choice between mining and architecture.
And the dilemma was this. That although Fresnillo and the mining industry had already made big advances in sustainability and in its environmental approach, its efforts were still not getting through. Something had to be done differently – by Fresnillo and by the mining industry, for communities and society at large.

Faced by dilemmas, choices must be made – this is the point in the story that the Pure Silver Initiative comes in. Again, you can hear Octavio himself talking about the solution to that dilemma – linking, combining, building and creating something that can last beyond the here and now.