Fresnillo and MAG Silver announced that the Juanicipio Project's power distribution and control systems had successfully passed their final tests. According to the companies, Juanicipio has been connected to the national power grid and the complete system has been powered up.
MAG Silver owns 44 percent of the Juanicipio project located in Zacatecas, while 46 percent is owned by Fresnillo. The development consists of two main vein systems: Valdecañas and Juanicipio, both prolific epithermal silver and gold structures. The companies expect the project to produce 11.7Moz/y of silver and 43,500oz/y of gold.
Regarding the final tests, MAG Silver indicated that the state utility CFE needed to confirm the compatibility of the newly installed equipment with CFE infrastructure.
“Connection to the power grid is a long-awaited milestone for the Juanicipio Project, our stakeholders and shareholders alike, and we are thankful for the understanding and patience as the final steps to connect the plant to the national power grid were concluded. We now turn to working with Fresnillo to maximize value generation from Juanicipio as we head into ramp-up and full-scale operations with Juanicipio graduating into a Tier-1 silver producer,” said George Paspalas, President and CEO, MAG Silver.
Previously, MAG Silver explained that the main challenge for Juanicipio was CFE’s six-month delay in connecting the project to the grid. Fresnillo explained that the project’s production forecast in 2023 will not be affected despite the delays.
MAG Silver said that Juanicipio is expected to start commissioning with low-grade reserves at first. The company explained that as plant components came online with auxiliary power, a quick start-up was completed to reach full nominal capacity in 2Q23. Both companies expected that after they complete the Juanicipio ramp-up, high-grade ores will be processed at the Juanicipio plant and nearby Saucito and Fresnillo operations.
According to the most recent data from MAG Silver, 180,807 tons of both underground and stope development were processed at Juanicipio in 3Q22 with an average head grade of 513g/t silver. In 3Q22, production totaled 2,617,146oz of silver and 5,422oz of gold. At this time, about 70 percent of the tons were processed at the Saucito plant, as it is similar to the one in Juanicipio and provided key information until the project’s start-up.