Location: 75 kilometres southeast of the city of Durango, Mexico.
- Excellent Infrastructure & Access: Highway
- Railway and Power Lines nearby
- 2 Hour Drive From Durango City & International Airport
Geological Model & Completed Phase I & II Drill Program
On December 23, 2013, a technical report was released and titled, Preliminary Economic Assessment for the La Joya Property, Durango, Mexico, with an effective date October 21, 2013, as amended March 4, 2014 (“PEA”). The PEA was prepared in compliance with NI 43-101 by EBA Engineering Consultants, a Tetra Tech Company (EBA) and is available on our website. Summaries of the current inferred resources used for the PEA, a preliminary Life of Mine Plan (LOMP), operating costs, capital costs and project economics are presented in below. All currency values are presented in US$ unless otherwise specified.
The Company cautions that the PEA is preliminary in nature in that it is based on Inferred Mineral Resources which are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be characterized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the PEA will be realized. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
The PEA focuses on the first stage of La Joya development ("Starter Pit") as a low strip, open pit with an initial 9 year life of mine plan ("LOMP") and opportunities for expansion. This approach provides attractive economic returns using conservative metal price estimates and lower initial capital costs, which are more attractive in the current market. The conceptual open pit operation would be in conjunction with a 5,000 tonnes per day (tpd) conventional mill and flotation/leaching plant to produce a high grade silver-copper concentrate with gold credits. The Starter Pit will have a conceptual average annual production of 3.9 million silver equivalent (AgEQ)* ounces per year and approximately 5 million ounces AgEQ* per year for each of the first 4 years of operation. An expansion of the Starter Pit to include additional resources within a larger pit would then be contemplated.
La Joya Preliminary Economic Assessment Base Case Pre-Tax NPV(5%) of US$133 Million and 30% IRR for "Starter Pit" (effective October 21, 2013, as amended March 4, 2014)
Highlights Of The Preliminary Economic Assessment
The PEA incorporated Base Case metal prices of $22/oz Ag, $3/lb Cu and $1200/oz Au (5 year historical average). Highlights of the Base Case economic estimates for the Starter Pit are as follows:
- Pre-tax NPV5% of $133 million and an Internal Rate of Return (“IRR”) of 30%
- After-tax NPV5% of $92 million and an IRR of 22%
- Payback period of approximately 2.6 years on initial capital
- Pre- production capital costs of $141 million including contingencies of $17 million
- Sustaining capital is estimated at $6.3 million
- Pre-tax undiscounted operating cash flow before capital expenditures totalling $352.6 million
- A 9 year LOMP with 15.5M tonnes grading 34.4 g/t Ag, 0.28%Cu and 0.23 g/t Au
- The life of mine stripping ratio is estimated to be 2.9 with total extraction of an estimated 15.5 Mt of mineralized material and 45.5 Mt of waste rock.
- Life of mine production of an estimated 34.8 million payable AgEQ*ounces, consisting of 19 million ounces of silver and 53 thousand ounces of gold and 93 million pounds of copper in concentrate, and
- Production of an attractive high grade silver-copper concentrate (averaging 35% Cu and 4kg/t Ag) with a gold by-product
* Silver equivalency includes silver, gold and copper and excludes lead, zinc, molybdenum and tungsten values. Ag:Au is 50:1, Ag:Cu is 86:1, based on 5 year historic metal price trends of US$22/oz silver, US$1200/oz gold, US$3/lb copper. 100% metallurgical recovery is assumed. (see Summary of PEA parameters in table below).
La Joya Resources
The La Joya mineral deposit is defined as a silver copper- gold skarn with disseminated to semi-massive sulphide (bornite –chalcopyrite) with three main ore types; Mantos, Structures and Contact Zone. The updated Mineral Resource estimations for the La Joya Project provided estimated Inferred Resources of 126.7 million tonnes grading 23.5 gpt Ag, 0.19%Cu and 0.17 gpt Au containing 95.9 million ounces of silver, 533 million pounds of copper and 716,000 ounces of gold.
Cut Off g/t
|Ag Eq* Oz
*Silver equivalency includes silver, gold and copper and excludes lead, zinc, molybdenum and tungsten values. Ag:Au is 50:1, Ag:Cu is 86:1, based on 5 year historic metal price trends ofUS$24/oz silver, US$1200/oz gold, US$3/lb copper. 100% metallurgical recovery is assumed. All numbers are rounded. Inferred Resources have been estimated from geological evidence and limited sampling and must be treated with a lower level of confidence than Measured and Indicated Resources. Note that AgEQ calculation for resources is different than PEA economic analysis based on change in metal prices. Mineralization boundaries used in the interpretation of the geological model and resource estimate are based on a cut-off grade of 15 g/t AgEq using the metal price ratios described above.
Geology & Mineralization
The La Joya Property is underlain by Cretaceous sediments along the western margin of the Mexican Mesa Central, at the transition from the Sierra Madre Occidental, along the broadly defined San Luis-Tepehuanes fault system. The fault system is commonly referred to as the Mexican Silver Belt based on the country scale distribution of silver producing mines juxtaposed along the trend. The sedimentary package at La Joya consists of the Cuesta del Cura Limestone comprised of limestone with minor chert and siltstone overlain by the younger Indidura Formation comprised of calcareous siltstone, mudstone and siliciclastics.
The La Joya Deposit is a carbonate hosted copper skarn deposit with associated silver and gold mineralization, similar in style to the Fortitude-Copper Canyon deposit in Nevada, USA, and to the Sabinas/San Martin mines in Zacatecas, Mexico. Calcsilicate skarn mineralization is found on the property as andradite garnet, pyroxene, actinolite and wollastonite and is distributed amongst three styles of mineralization recognized to exist on the property. Ag-Cu-Au mineralization is concentrated within stratiform manto-style skarn controlled along sub-horizontal bedding. Ag-Cu-Au, Pb-Zn, and W mineralization is concentrated within structurally controlled stockwork and veining related skarn. Finally, W mineralization is found within late stage retrograde skarn development along the intrusive contact.
Sulphide mineralization generally transitions from chalcopyrite-dominant in proximal skarn to bornitedominant in distal skarn. Late sub-vertical laminated quartz-calcite veins bearing freibergite and arsenopyrite cross-cut pre-existing skarn mineralization and, although related to magmatic fluids, is not considered to be related to the skarn mineralizing events. Trace amounts of oxide from meteoric weathering processes are present within the structural corridors at depth.