TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – TSX- and Nasdaq-listed Pan American Silver this week announced a 26% increase in the National Instrument 43-101-compliant proven and probable silver mineral reserves at its La Colorada mine, in Zacatecas, Mexico.
The Vancouver-based company said the combined proven and probable reserves now totalled 81.4-million ounces. However, net of 2013 silver output, the mine added about 16.7-million ounces of new silver reserves during the year.
In the past five years, Pan American had discovered 86-million ounces of new proven and probable silver mineral reserves at La Colorada, mainly in the NC2 and Amolillo veins.
Based on this exploration success, the company last month announced a mine expansion plan to lift the estimated yearly silver output from 4.6-million ounces to 7.7-million ounces in 2018, when the full expansion project would be complete.
The company last month said that based on the positive results of a recently completed preliminary economic assessment (PEA) the relatively low-risk expansion project had the potential to provide “robust” after-tax economic returns using a $19/oz long-term silver price.
The PEA contemplates an increase in silver output from the current level of about 4.7-million ounces a year, for an incremental capital investment of $80-million, the majority of which would be spent over the next three years.