Canadian Mining Journal


SILVER: Pan American outlines initial resource for La Colorada skarn

Pan American Silver's La Colorada mine, in Zacatecas, Mexico. Credit: Pan American Silver

Pan American Silver’s La Colorada mine, in Zacatecas, Mexico. Credit: Pan American Silver

VANCOUVER – Pan American Silver has reported an initial resource estimate for its La Colorada Skarn deposit, outlining 102 million-oz. silver. The deposit was discovered last year east of the mine workings at its La Colorada mine in Zacatecas, Mexico.

The La Colorada Skarn deposit hosts an inferred resource of 72.5 million tonnes grading 44 g/t silver, 0.17% copper, 2.02% lead and 4.4% zinc. Total contained metals are 102 million oz. silver, 3.2 million tonnes zinc, 1.5 million tonnes lead and 121,000 tonnes of copper using a cutoff value of US$60 per tonne (after smelting, refining and transportation costs).

The deposit is located between 600 metres and 1,700 metres below surface, with most of the mineralization contained within a larger polymetallic mineralized skarn covering an area about 500 metres by 600 metres.

“This initial resource estimate is a very exciting development for Pan American Silver and our La Colorada operation,” said Michael Steinmann, Pan American Silver’s president and CEO in a release. “The substantial size and grades point to a world-class deposit, discovered with our near-site exploration program.”

The estimate was based on 54,000 metres of drilling in 65 diamond drill holes. Next year, Pan American has budgeted US$10 million for 44,000 metres of drilling, focusing on infill and exploration drilling to further define, expand and add confidence to the resource.

The company reports that initial laboratory bench-scale metallurgical testing of core composite samples indicates encouraging selective polymetallic flotation recoveries generating high quality silver-rich copper, lead and zinc mineral concentrates.

The La Colorada mine, an epithermal silver gold deposit, is expected to produce 8-8.2 million oz. silver and 4,100-4,800 oz. gold this year.

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