Michael Konnert
Viszla Resources
View from the Top

Paving the Way to the Panuco Mine

By MBN Staff | Fri, 08/07/2020 - 09:25

Q: What is the overview of the Panuco project and its main characteristics?

A: The Panuco project is the consolidation of a district-scale land package, comparable in size and geology to First Majestic’s San Dimas mine. It holds more than 20 veins, several of which have demonstrated high silver and gold grades. The project is located 45 minutes outside of Mazatlan city, which is situated off a major highway in the Sierra Madre epithermal belt, approximately 80km from First Majestic’s San Dimas mine. The project is high-grade silver and gold, with a total greater than 75km of cumulative vein strike. So far, there are no base metals. Geologically, it has similar vein system to the San Dimas mine.

Regarding the history of the land, we have records of all the production that has taken place. The Panuco epithermal vein project is the consolidation of mining concessions totaling 9,386.5ha in a producing mining camp. The area’s first silver production occurred in the 1500s and it has been producing intermittently ever since, with steady production over the last several decades.

Vizsla believes there is significant high-grade silver and gold potential at Panuco. This is the first time the entire district will be explored as a consolidated region that has not seen modern exploration except for a small drill campaign between 2006 and 2008 on a portion of the district. In 2004, Capstone Mining bought about 40 percent of the Panuco district from Grupo Minero Bacis and undertook exploration around historical workings on two of the more than 20 veins mapped on their property. Capstone drilled along the Animas and La Colorada veins between 2006 and 2008.

Q: What changed in Sinaloa to allow for mining activity to again ramp up?

A: Sinaloa has a rich mining history but security perceptions about the state were one reason activity slowed down. However, over the past decade, several companies decided to come and initiate operations in Sinaloa. We are very happy with the security enforcement and the support from the state. It has been a great experience so far.

Q: How has exploration of the property developed over time?

A: The smaller families that owned the land have never done any exploration and never applied any modern technology, probably because they did not have the opportunity or the desire to reinvest in exploration. We are doing it for the first time in the entire district. Viszla is also drilling diamond drill holes. We have a team of 10 geologists who are sampling and mapping, taking all that information and putting it into one format.

Q: How is the infrastructure at the Panuco project?

A: The district-scale camp has substantial infrastructure, including roads, permits, power and a skilled workforce in neighboring towns. There is a four-lane highway that runs between Mazatlan and Durango, cutting down travel time by six hours. There are probably hundreds of kilometers of roads throughout the whole property. Nearby, there are two towns, Copala and Panuco, and we have been very happy to be able to work out of those because many of their citizens are our employees. We have about 30 people that work for us and they are all based in one of those towns. 

The production facilities on site are between a year and 10 years old. The previous operators built them and now the company has an agreement to buy these facilities once exploration is completed. Our goal is to potentially operate the mine in the next couple of years. For that purpose, at the end of the exploration, we need to raise another US$41 million to buy the production facilities.

Q: Are you already building up your social license with the community?

A: That is something we take very seriously. We have been establishing ourselves, creating a good relationship with the communities by hiring people from the surrounding towns.  

Vizsla Resources is a listed mineral exploration company engaged in the discovery, development and acquisition of precious and base metal assets. The company owns the Panuco project located in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico.

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