Guanajuato Silver announced the restart of its Cata Mill at the Valenciana Mines Complex (VMC) in Guanajuato. Owing to the restart, the company expects to increase its processing capacity and ensure its place as one of the country’s fastest-growing silver producers.
Guanajuato Silver reported that the Cata Mill had already been commissioned in late December 2022 with material coming from VMC and San Ignacio mines, located northwest of Guanajuato City. According to the company, the Cata Mill’s full capacity is 36,000t/m. However, in an initial phase, it will start by processing at a run rate of 8,000t/m to ramp up to 20,000t/m by the end of 2023. The company also reported that the Cata plant, which comprises three ball mills and a two-stage crushing system, is properly working and did not require significant CAPEX before restarting.
The Cata mill is hoped to achieve initial metallurgical recoveries with a range of around 85% of gold and silver. “With the Cata mill now operational, Guanajuato Silver adds a third processing facility to our growing inventory of operating assets. The Cata mill is the last major asset acquired as part of the 2022 transaction with Great Panther to be placed back in service. With four operating silver mines and three production plants, we remain one of the fastest-growing silver producers in Mexico,” James Anderson, Chairman and CEO, Guanajuato Silver commented.
In November 2022, the Cata mill was put on care and maintenance by the previous operator as its tailings capacity ran out. To address this issue, Guanajuato Silver intends to backfill tailings underground using a hydraulic fill system that uses selected voids and open stopes. The company says this method offers a more environmentally-friendly approach to tailing management.
On July 4, 2022, MBN reported that Guanajuato Silver acquired all of Great Panther’s assets in Mexico, VMC included. The company said the transaction would strengthen its operations since the assets would lift Guanajuato Silver’s production profile. Previous to the acquisition, the complex was called the Guanajuato Mine Complex.
Guanajuato Silver is a precious metals producer engaged in the reactivation of past producing silver and gold mines in Mexico, especially in the state of Guanajuato where it holds VMC, El Cubo and San Ignacio mines, as well as the Topia mine in Durango.