2000 Medal of Merit Recipient
Pedro Sánchez-Mejorada was born in Mexico City in 1915, but grew up in the mining center of Pachuca in the Mexican state of Hidalgo. He was educated at the National University of Mexico (UNAM), and graduated in 1937 with a degree in Mining and Metallurgical Engineering. He also holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Upon graduation from UNAM, he went to work in the Engineering and Geology Department of the Real del Monte & Pachuca Company, a subsidiary of U.S. Smelting, Mining, and Refining Company.
In 1948, he joined Industrias Peñoles, S.A. de C.V., the predecessor of Indusuias Peñoles, S.A. de C.V. as a mining engineer. This was the start of a long and successful career with Peñoles that saw him rise successively to positions as Chief Geologist, Director of Exploration, Vice-President New Projects and Development, and, for the last 10 years of his career there, President of Industrias Peñoles. During his years with Peñoles, Ing. Sánchez-Mejorada played an important role in the exploration and development of numerous company mining properties including the Reforma zinc-silver mine in Chihuahua, La Negra silver-lead-zinc-copper mine in Querétaro, La Minita zinc silver-barite mine in Michoacán, and the vast Laguna del Rey chemical complex in northern Coahuila. The latter comples annually produces 600,000 tonnes of sodium sulphate and more than 80,000 tonnes of high grade magnesium oxide.
One of Sánchez-Mejorada's principal achievements was the discovery and development of the "New Fresnillo" vein system. Discovery of this totally new and "blind" system converted the Fresnillo Mine from a net money loser into the world's largest and most profitable silver mine. In addition to being deeply involved in exploration and development of mining properties, he sought to develop the company's human resources as well. Peñoles has for many years followed the practice of sending selected employees abroad to obtain university degrees in their fields of work.
Ing. Sánchez-Mejorada retired from Peñoles in 1988 and assumed a post as a Director of Cia. Minera Mexicana de Avino S.A. de C.V. In 1992, he became Chairman of Avino. He is still active as a mining consultant and is a member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, the Society of Economic Geologists, and the Mexican Academy of Engineering.