TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Vancouver-based Aurcana Corp has begun work at its Shafter silver project, in south-west Texas, the firm said on Friday,
The site access road has been upgraded, geotechnical and survey work is under way, and plant site and portal earthworks are on track to be completed by April, Aurcana said.
The portal cut for the decline will be blasted and excavated in February, and the first set of new and rebuilt underground mining equipment has been bought and will arrive in time for mining to start on the decline in early March.
All long-lead items, including the 14-ft ball mill and tailings filter presses have been secured and are scheduled to be refurbished, the company said.
Aurcana has also signed a five-year offtake contract with the regional power supply company to upgrade the electrical substation which will provide power for the operation of the mine and mill.
Production is expected to start at Shafter in mid-2012. The 1 500-t/d operation will produce around 3,8-million ounces a year, the company said.
Aurcana, which already operates the La Negra mine in Mexico, bought the past producing Shafter mine in 2008, from Silver Standard Resources.
The company said it expects to produce a total of five-million ounces of silver a year by 2012.