2012 Mining Billionaires: #11 German Larrea Mota Velasco
#11 German Larrea Mota Velasco and family
Mexico is well represented in the $10 billion-plus club and German Larrea Mota Velasco and family is the fourth richest in the Latin American country according to Forbes.
The magazine places the 70-year old head of copper giant Grupo Mexico at number 48 on its list with a net worth of $14.2 billion. The Mexico City-based Velasco family own just over half of the group that dates back to the 1940s as an infrastructure and transport firm.
The copper, molybdenum, zinc, lead and precious metals miner houses most of its resource activities in 80%-owned Southern Copper Corp and Asarco, tow entities it is attempting to merge. The mining arm, responsible for almost 80% of the group's earnings had a break-out 2011 with a 32% jump in sales to a record high $6.8 billion but has also been mired in controversy recently.
In a now infamous case in October a Delaware judge ruled Grupo Mexico must return $1.3 billion to Southern Copper for forcing Asarco to overpay for Minera México.
Forbes also reports GMexico "has had trouble with labor at its Mexican mines; the former Cananea mine, now called Buenavista, near the U.S. border was shut for nearly four years by a strike. Meanwhile, President and Chairman of the Board German Larrea remains elusive, avoiding journalists and photographers."