La Guitarra Silver Mine
La Guitarra is 100% owned and operated by First Majestic Silver Corp. as the project was acquired in 2012 as a result of the acquisition of Silvermex Resources.
The property consists of 39,714 hectares and is located within the Temascaltepec Mining District in Mexico. This district is a historically significant mining area as operations at La Guitarra first began in the early 15th century and continued through to the 19th century.
First Majestic completed an expansion program at La Guitarra in early 2013. The processing plant's capacity increased by 40% to 500 tpd (flotation) from 350 tpd. Further planning and permitting is currently underway for an additional mill upgrade to 1,000 tpd.
The La Guitarra Mine lies in the southeast end of the Mexican silver belt, within the Temascaltepec Mining District in the State of Mexico. The property is located approximately 130 km southwest from Mexico City. The total 100% owned land position covers 397 square kilometers (km) and over 15 km of strike length.
Mining & Milling Operations
The La Guitarra Mine presently consists of two underground operation centers and a flotation mill with a capacity of 500 tpd. Permitting and planning for a new 1,000 tpd cyanidation processing facility is underway. At this increased throughput, production is expected to reach 2 million ounces of silver doré per year.
La Guitarra Plant at Night
Ball Mill in Operation
Inside the Processing Plant
Local Geology, Mineralization & Ore Types
La Guitarra is situated in the southern part of the Sierra Madre Occidental. The region is characterized by mafic volcanics of the Trans-Mexican belt superimposing the intermediate to felsic Eocene volcanics. The mine also hosts rocks from Mesozoic schist and slates to Tertiary age volcanics and intrusives. The area was mineralized due to the late Miocene volcanic disruptions.
The core of the district is a mineralized belt over 15 km long and at least 4 km wide, containing hundreds of documented epithermal veins. Mineralization is hosted in these vein type ore bodies in the form of quartz-monzonite compositions. Ag-Au mineralization is the product of a large low-sulfidation hydrothermal system. Ore grade mineralization is structurally controlled, and varies in size from narrow high-grade veins to bulk tonnage zones ranging up to 70 metres in width.
Reserves & Resources
Silvermex Resources Inc. and its predecessors published NI 43-101 Technical Reports relating to the La Guitarra mine on September 22, 2006, May 15, 2007, June 25, 2008 and most recently on January 29, 2010. These Technical Reports have not been approved by First Majestic and the Company did not rely on these reports in making its decision to acquire Silvermex and (indirectly) the La Guitarra Silver Mine. The reports are currently under review by management of the Company and its Qualified Persons, particularly with respect to the assumptions and the risks regarding those assumptions used in the previous mining studies. Specifically, management is of the opinion that there are risks when relying on the ability to permit the La Guitarra mine as an open pit mine in light of its proximity to a popular recreation area in Mexico. Management is having its own Qualified Persons review the preferred mining options and the opportunities for mitigating risks to developing a successful mining operation. The results of this review may result in a revised mine plan which may necessitate the filing of a new Technical Report. Until then, management recommends caution when relying on the previously filed technical reports relating to the La Guitarra Silver Mine.