PalmarejoMon, 10/22/2018 - 10:46
Coeur’s flagship underground Palmarejo mine is located in southwest Chihuahua, between the towns of Temoris and Chinipas. With over 840 employees in 2017, Palmarejo produced 7.6 million ounces of silver at an average grade of 5.62oz/t and 121,269 ounces of gold at an average grade of 0.09oz/t, representing a 60 percent increase over 2016. Mining during the first half of 2018 has continued at a rate of approximately 3,800t/d, producing 4.1 million ounces of silver and 63,598 ounces of gold at similar grades to 2017.
The Palmarejo Complex consists of 77 wholly-owned mining concessions covering approximately 40,000ha of land. The complex is located in the western flank of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range, which is the home to many of Mexico’s silver-gold mines.
Since late 2016, all production from the Palmarejo Complex has come from the Guadalupe and Independencia underground mines, although development has now commenced towards the Nación deposit with production expected to commence in 2019. The Nación deposit was discovered in late 2015 and is strategically located between the Guadalupe and Independencia mines, allowing it to be accessed from existing underground infrastructure.
Following the discovery of Nación, the company started an intensive exploration program focused on the discovery of other near-mine targets that could be synergistic with the operating mines. In 2017, a number of new discoveries were made, particularly around the Guadalupe mine, including the Zapata deposit, which is located only 150m from current mine workings.
As a result of the aggressive exploration and drilling programs that commenced in 2016, Palmarejo has seen its proven and probable reserves increase from 44.9 million ounces of silver and 690,000 ounces of gold at the end of 2015 to 47.0 million ounces of silver and 706,000 ounces of gold at the end of 2017. During the same time frame, measured and indicated resources have increased from 25.3 million ounces of silver and 330,000 ounces of gold to 27.0 million ounces of silver and 368,000 ounces of gold with inferred resources increasing from 8.2 million ounces of silver and 147,000 ounces of gold to 31.1 million ounces of silver and 369,000 ounces of gold.
Exploration during 2018 has continued to test near-mine targets and extensions of deposits discovered in previous years as well as more regional targets with the aim of continuing to increase the mineral inventory and mine life of the complex.