Impact Expands Mexico Silver Production
By Ted Niles
The Guadalupe Mill has produced over 10 million ounces of silver, and since Impact Silver Corp acquired it in 2006 it shows no signs of tailing off. Of course, Mexico’s Zacualpan Mining District—located in the Taxco Silver Region, 100 kilometres southwest of Mexico City—has always been blessed. Says President/CEO Fred Davidson, “[These properties] have been in production for 500 years, and I suspect we’ll be producing on them for quite a while from here on in. We’ve identified over 2,000 old workings, a multiplicity of veins, and we’re basically trying to explore each of those workings in turn to try and figure out what’s happening.”
In Q1 2011, Impact reached record silver production at Guadalupe of 419 tonnes of ore per day, and the company is focused on keeping the feed strong. Towards that end it has been conducting exploration drilling on the GCC (Golondrinas, Cuchara and Chontalpan) sector of its 423-square-kilometres of mineralized concessions in Zacualpan. Davidson explains, “GCC is in one of the valleys—that we’ve been developing a number of targets in—that services our Guadalupe Mill. It’s part of our overall program there. It’s a fairly complex series of veins, and it’s taking a little bit to interpret. But you can see we’re finally getting some valid information coming out of there. It looks like it’ll be another production centre for us in the near future.”
June 7 assays of the GCC sector include 116.5 grams per tonne silver over 5.8 metres, 85.3 g/t over 2.5 metres, 111.3 g/t over 1.9 metres, 140.1 g/t over 3.5 metres, 345.8 g/t over 0.7 metres, 113 g/t over 1.2 metres, 132.3 g/t over 2.8 metres and 129.9 g/t over 2 metres. Davidson comments, “These assays are actually more in keeping with our expectations. We’ve produced from that sort of grade and that sort of width already, so we’re very familiar with it. I suspect by early next year we’ll be driving an adit [mine entrance] into at least one or more of the targets here. The ground is exceptionally good in the area, so mining costs are very low—all in, it’s around $60 a tonne. So this sort of stuff is nothing but gravy for us when we hit it.”
Gravy, indeed. In addition to the Guadalupe Mill—currently being fed by the company’s Chivo, San Ramon and Noche Buena mines—Impact is in the final permitting stages for a pilot plant at its Capire deposit. Capire is situated on the company’s 200-square-kilometre Mamatla Silver District, 16 kilometres to the southwest of Zacualpan, and has a current measured and indicated mineral resource estimate of 7.2 million ounces silver, 95.6 million pounds zinc and 37.3 million pounds lead. It is anticipated to start production in late 2011.
We can literally put a mine into production in two years in Mexico. – Fred Davidson
Impact also has 12 mineral concessions in Zacatecas State and has purchased a 200-tonne-per-day processing plant there, which it is currently upgrading.
“I’ve been building mines for a number of years,” remarks Davidson, “and I can tell you that we can literally put a mine into production in two years in Mexico. You couldn’t do that anywhere in Canada or the United States.” He adds, “Contrary to mythology, it’s a pretty safe area to work in. We’ve never had an incident, and we’ve been here five years now. And as we go ahead putting in Capire, I don’t foresee any issues that are going to hold us up significantly, from permitting on.”
Returning to Impact’s work in the GCC sector, Davidson concludes, “We’ll be putting more drilling in there. We’ll be doing some additional soil sampling, as these things tend to be extending beyond the original soil and rock-chip samples. This will just be additional feed to [Guadalupe], expanding the overall resource in the area. We’ll have it producing probably by next year.”
IMPACT Silver Corp trades on the TSX Venture Exchange and currently has a market cap of $106.97 million, trading at $1.70 per share.