Canadian Mining Journal

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SILVER: Pan Am Silver says capex for La Morocha at Joaquin is reasonable US$37.8M



Ore from the Morocha silver deposit at the Joaquin project will be processed in the Manantial Espejo mile. (Image: Pan American Silver)

ARGENTINA – Pan American Silver of Vancouver has completed the prefeasibility study for the La Morocha silver deposit, part of the Joaquin project in Santa Cruz province. The study recommends a 600-t/d underground mine. The ore will be trucked to Manantial Espejo plant 145 km away for processing.

The preproduction capex is pegged at $37.8 million, excluding $3.6 million reimbursement of the value added tax. (All figures in U.S. dollars.) Funding will be generated through the company’s operating activities. Ramp development is to begin in Q2 2018, with ore production beginning in late 2019 and finishing at the end of 2021. The mining method will be primarily post pillar cut and fill with unconsolidated development waste for backfill.

Pan Am Silver puts the after tax net present value of the La Morocha deposit at $9.1 million with a 5% discount rate. The after tax internal rate of return will be 18% at assumed metal prices of $18.50 per silver oz. and $1,300 per gold oz.

The Morocha deposit contains 474,000 probable tonnes of reserves grading 721 g/t silver (11.0 million oz.) and 0.4 g/t gold (6,300 oz.) There are also indicated resources of 55,000 tonnes at 385 g/t silver and 0.6 g/t gold plus inferred resources of 6,000 tonnes grading 369 g/t silver and 1.3 g/t gold.

Pan Am Silver acquired the Joaquin project from Coeur Mining in February 2107. More details from the PFS are available at www.PanAmericanSilver.com.