PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Consolidated Zinc has revealed plans to more than double planned production at its Plomosas zinc mine, in Mexico, following increasingly positive exploration results.
Rather than starting small-scale mining as an initial step in 2018, Consolidated Zinc said on Tuesday that it was weighing the opportunity to move directly to more significant production in 2019, targeting over 250 000 t/y over a minimum mine life of between seven and ten years.
“Commencing small-scale production next year is certainly a viable option to generate short-term cash flow with the aim of moving to more significant production within two to three years,” said MD Will Dix.
“However, ongoing positive results within and in close proximity to the existing mine indicate very good opportunity to be more efficient with capital cost planning by moving directly to mainstream production.”
An October scoping study focused on restarting operations from the Tres Amigos resource using existing infrastructure, while drilling continued to expand the remaining resource. The scoping study confirmed the viability of a 100 000 t/y zinc project, but also highlighted the opportunity to move to larger-scale operations.
Dix said that the revised strategy placed the company in a better position to approach potential offtake partners and financiers, which would also help to facilitate mine development plans.
“The slightly extended timeline to production will allow us to continue our successful regional exploration programmes, significantly upgrade our mineral resource and convert a greater percentage of the current inferred tonnes into an indicated category,” he added.
Meanwhile, Consolidated Zinc was also assessing potential acquisitions of additional zinc projects close to Plomosas, which would have the potential to further expand the total resource base.