La Encantada Silver Mine
Aerial photo of the La Encantada Silver Mine
The La Encantada Silver Mine is 100% owned by First Majestic Silver Corp. and includes a 4,000 tpd cyanidation mill. The site encompasses 4,076 hectares of mining rights and 1,343 hectares of surface rights. The La Encantada property has been in First Majestic's portfolio of assets since 2006 and has since become the Company's largest operation.
The La Encantada Silver Mine is located in northern Mexico, 708 km northeast of Torreon, Coahuila. Access to the mine is via a road from Muzquiz to Boquillas del Cármen, Coahuila. This route consists of a 165 km paved road and a 45 km dirt road, taking approximately 2.5 hours to travel. Nearby infrastructures include an airstrip, housing, offices, ancillary buildings, a laboratory, a restaurant, a general store and a recreation facility.
La Encantada Scoop Trams
Airstrip at La Encantada
Silver Pour - Doré Bars in the Making
Mining & Milling Operations
Construction of the new cyanidation mill has undergone several improvements in recent years. Most recently, the plant was further upgraded in 2011 and re-rated to 4,000 tpd. Running at full capacity, production is approximately 4.2 to 4.5 million ounces of silver annually in the form of silver doré bars.
A fully functional 1,000 tpd flotation mill is also located at La Encantada. Historically, this flotation mill was the primary method of silver production over the past 30 years; however, with the cyanidation plant now operating at full capacity, production of lead concentrate through the flotation circuit was suspended in June 2010 and the circuit is currently in care-and-maintenance.
3rd Ball Mill Being Installed
|La Encantada Production Results||2012||2011||2010|
|Ore Processed/ Tonnes Milled||1,515,795||1,384,040||1,074,538|
|Average Silver Grade (g/tonne)||176||210||234|
|Total Silver Ounces Produced||4,036,502||4,366,636||3,854,979|
|Gold Ounces Produced||238||96||79|
|Tonnes of Iron Ore Produced||18,329||9,907||-|
|Total Production - Ounces Silver Equivalent||4,111,018||4,399,485||3,980,230|
|Underground Development (m)||14,338||12,126||9,013|
|Diamond Drilling (m)||19,390||11,837||7,257|
Local Geology, Mineralization & Ore Types
The mineralogy of the deposits at La Encantada is predominantly iron oxides, carbonates and lead sulphates with high concentrations of silver (argentite and native silver) values as the result of an oxidation process and enrichment in a known vertical range of more than 400 meters. Beneath the elevation 1,600 meters, there is a presence of sulphides of Pb-Ag-Zn in the SW part of the La Encantada mine (La Morena ore-bodies).
For more detailed geological information readers are encouraged to review the Company's most recent NI 43-101 Technical Report (PDF).
Reserves & Resources
*For La Encantada, internal estimates use metal prices at $1,688.63/oz-Au, $31.96/oz-Ag, $1.05/lb-Pb, and $0.93/lb-Zn and based on internal Qualified Person results.
The Reserves/Resources inventories are reported in NI 43-101 Technical Reports published periodically by the Company. The complete report can be viewed in the Reserves/Resources section or on SEDAR.