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Scorpio Mining receives environmental permit for Mexico projects

1st May 2013

By: Henry Lazenby

Creamer Media Deputy Editor: North America

  

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TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – TSX-listed Scorpio Mining on Tuesday said Mexico's federal Environment Ministry, Secretaría del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Semarnat), had issued a resolution to its subsidiary, Minera Platte River Gold, approving the environmental-impact statement regarding its application for the development of underground mining operations at the El Cajón and San Rafael projects, located in the Cosalá Norte district, near the Nuestra Señora processing facility.

"With the completion of this crucial step towards the development of the El Cajón project, the company only awaits receipt of the ‘change of land-use permit’ from Sinaloa's Semarnat offices to be allowed to proceed with construction of its second underground mine in the Cosalá district,” president and CEO Pierre Lacombe said.

Following a normal permitting schedule, Scorpio expected to start surface works at El Cajón in the third quarter, with initial production from stopes potentially delivered to the Nuestra Señora plant late in the year, or early next year, and ramp-up towards the targeted 1 500 t/d sustained mine output over the first quarter of 2014.

“We are extremely pleased to have reached this major milestone. We appreciate the efforts of our team, consultants and the members of the Mexico's Semarnat for their cooperation and support,” Lacombe said.

Scorpio also said it was currently conducting an internal review on a draft of the preliminary economic assessment (PEA). The PEA would include an updated reserve estimate for the Nuestra Señora mine, and would incorporate the resource estimate disclosed on June 29, 2012.

The PEA would also include a PEA of the nearby El Cajón and San Rafael projects, based on the assumptions of a sequential development schedule and processing through an expanded plant capacity of 2 750 t/d from 2015 onwards.

At a resource cutoff rate of 1.5% zinc equivalent, San Rafael held 19.91-million tons grading 5.28% zinc equivalent. The higher-quality orebody held 39.42-million ounces of silver. The project’s zinc resource was estimated to hold 684.14-million pounds.

In September, Scorpio reported an independent resource estimate for its El Cajón project had resulted in improved project numbers.

At a 60 g/t silver-equivalent cutoff, the indicated resources, which had demonstrated an average grade of 198.1 g/t silver equivalent, were lifted by 16.5%, or 368 000 t of ore, to 2.59-million tons, holding 25.7% more ounces of silver at 12.45-million ounces, and 21.3% more copper at 27.74-million pounds.

At the 60 g/t silver-equivalent cutoff, the inferred resources, which had an average grade of 162.4 g/t silver equivalent, were found to have increased by 0.2% to 850 000 t, holding 13.6% more silver at 3.33-million ounces and 7.8% more copper at 7.67-million pounds.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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