Endeavour Silver to Rebuild El Cubo

Endeavour Silver reported in early September 2012 that it plans to invest $67.1 million on capital projects at its underground El Cubo mine and plant in the Guanajuato mining district in Mexico over the next 18 months, including $32.4 million in 2012 and $34.7 million in 2013. Endeavour acquired El Cubo from AuRico Gold in a transaction that closed July 13, 2012.

Endeavour’s planned investments in-clude a complete rebuild of the El Tajo pro-cessing plant to 1,200-mt/d capacity, with room for future expansion, including installa-tion of new crushing, conveying, grinding, and flotation circuits and overhaul of the leaching, filtration, Merrill Crowe, and bullion refinery circuits. The company will also con-struct new water and tailings storage facili-ties, new roads, new offices, and new main-tenance, warehouse, and security facilities. New mine equipment will be purchased, including scoop trams, tractors, utility vehi-cles, generators, compressors, pumps, and a 2.4-m-diameter raise-bore machine.

Projects under way include orders for new mine equipment, accelerated mine develop-ment, mine exploration drilling, and engi-neering and permitting for the plant rebuild, new tailings and water storage areas, and surface infrastructure. Endeavour plans to complete the plant, water, tailings and infra-structure projects by the end of April 2013.

Endeavour initiated a new mine plan in late July focused on maintaining the tonnage throughput at El Cubo at around 1,100 mt/d while reducing mine dilution, increasing pro-duction grades, and reducing operating costs. As a result, by mid-September, mined grades had risen 50% from less than 100 g/mt silver equivalent when Endeavour took possession of the mine to better than 150 g/mt silver equivalent. Endeavour’s current goal is to stabilize these improved grades through the end of 2012. In the 2013, man-agement’s attention will turn to further increasing the ore grades closer to the reserve grades (another 50% higher) by steadily reducing ore dilution.

Endeavour recently completed a 69-mt metallurgical batch leach test of concen-trates from its Bolañitos mine, located 10 km northwest of El Cubo, to determine their suitability for processing at El Cubo instead of trucking them 1,000 km for processing at its Guanacevi operations in Durango state.

As a result, Bolañitos started regular shipments of its concentrates to the El Cubo leach plant on September 1, and its shipping and insurance costs have been substantially reduced.

As featured in Womp 2012 Vol 10 - www.womp-int.com