ZACATECAS, Mexico Project planners are mulling over whether to start development on the San Nicols massive sulphide deposit in this Mexican state because of the upward trend in metals prices, according to an investor relations official with Vancouver’s WESTERN SILVER CORP. The company holds a 21% interest in San Nicols, but its share could be modified from 18.8% to 29.8% once a production decision is made.
This is a joint venture of Western Silver and Vancouver-based TECK COMINCO, which developed a feasibility study in December 2001. The property is currently on care-and-maintenance.
"We are going to take another look at that (study) given current metals prices, and that’s a fairly complicated procedure," a Western Silver investor relations official said. "We’re also going to look for ways to optimize the project economics including looking at the feasibility of underground mining." He declined to specify when the production decision will be made. "The important thing is we are re-examining. We are going back, plugging in the numbers based on new metals prices," the official said.
Teck Cominco’s feasibility study is based on conventional open pit mining. Mineral reserves are estimated to be 65.2 million tonnes with average grades of 1.32% Cu, 2.04% Zn, 0.53 g/t Au, and 32.1 g/t Ag. Over a 12-year life, the mine would produce roughly 950,000 tonnes of zinc, 635,000 tonnes of copper, 171,000 oz of gold, and 18 million oz of silver. The production rate would average 15,000 tonnes/day.