San Martin Silver Mine
Tanks at San Martin
Although the mine has been in continuous production since 1983, with an annual production of approximately 1.1 million silver ounces (in the form of doré bars), the area was never previously explored using modern techniques. Since acquiring the property in 2006, First Majestic began to make the necessary investments in development, exploration and mill improvements to increase the NI 43-101 compliant silver resources and to increase silver production from current levels.
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Conveyor system from primary crusher
The San Martin Silver Mine is located 250 km north of Guadalajara city in Jalisco State, Mexico. Drive time from the city to the mine is approximately four to five hours, or about 45 minutes by charter plane. San Martin is also near the small town of San Martin de Bolanos, which is just 7.9 km to the east. San Martin de Bolanos has a population of about 3,500 and the mine is a major contributor to the economy of the community.
San Martín de Bolaños offers retail, medical (including General and Seguro Social hospitals), educational (including Jr. and High School), and communications facilities; however, major facilities, including an International Airport, are located in the cities of Guadalajara, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes.
Mining & Milling Operations
Having undergone several improvements since the site was acquired in 2006, San Martin's 950 tpd cyanidation mill is currently running at around 850 to 900 tpd. Production at San Martin consists of silver doré bars with gold credits. The focus at San Martin is on increasing silver reserves and resources in order to justify possible future expansions. The mill has been undergoing a modernization program that includes two new induction furnaces with two new filter presses, which were completed in 2011 and are now fully operational. These improvements are having a positive impact on overall production, quality of doré and total cash costs. Further improvements include new leaching tanks and new thickeners.
|San Martin Production Results||2012||2011||2010|
|Ore Processed/ Tonnes Milled||286,206||286,758||264,449|
|Average Silver Grade (g/tonne)||136||147||168|
|Total Silver Ounces Produced||957,195||1,055,745||1,125,514|
|Gold Ounces Produced||1,323||1,097||1,665|
|Total Production - Ounces Silver Equivalent||1,027,920||1,105,837||1,230,037|
|Underground Development (m)||8,473||7,831||5,840|
|Diamond Drilling (m)||35,037||19,569||8,483|
Underground at San Martin
Local Geology, Mineralization & Ore Types
San Martin is situated above the base of the western graben escarpment. The mine is centered on the Zuloaga Vein, which is by far the most extensively developed vein in the district, having accounted for approximately one-half of all silver production. Currently First Majestic is developing La Esperanza, Rosarios and Huichola areas in preparation for increasing head grades and resource estimates.
For more detailed geological information, readers are encouraged to review the Company's most recent NI 43-101 report (PDF, 9.34 Mb) on the San Martin Silver Mine. An updated NI 43-101 Technical Report is expected to be released in early 2013.
Reserves & Resources
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.
View of the operating ball mills
San Martin Silver Mine
Leaching tanks at San Martin