Juanicipio

Ownership: JV: 56% Fresnillo plc, 44% MAG Silver
Location: Zacatecas, Fresnillo District
Facilities: Underground mine and flotation plant
Commercial Production: 2H20 (flotation plant: mid-2021)
Avg. Annual Anticipated Production: 11.7 moz silver, 43.5 koz gold
Total Budgeted Capex: US$440m (Fresnillo: US$246.4 million)

Juanicipio project is a joint venture with MAG Silver of which Fresnillo owns 56%. This standalone project, to be constructed, developed and operated by Fresnillo plc, is located in the Fresnillo District, 14 kilometres from our Fresnillo mine and first identified as a potential silver/gold project over ten years ago.

The Juanicipio deposit consists of two main vein systems; the Valdecañas vein system and the Juanicipio vein, which are significant silver-gold epithermal structures. The Valdecañas vein system displays the vertical grade transition typical of the principal veins in the Fresnillo district, observed as a change from silver and gold-rich zones at the top to increased lead and zinc in the deeper reaches. 

Capex was revised from US$395m to US$440m to reflect additional actual expenditure recently incurred by the JV partners on the underground project, and bringing forward full construction costs for two large life of mine ventilation shafts, plus some sustaining capital, to facilitate early start to underground works.

 

3Q21

  • Development ore from Juanicipio continued to be processed in the Fresnillo flotation plant. On an attributable basis, 374 koz of silver and 620 oz of gold were produced in 3Q21.
  • Year-to-date, development ore from Juanicipio has contributed 876 koz of attributable silver production and 1,451 oz of attributable gold production.
  • During the quarter, the Juanicipio plant construction continued to progress. Pre-commissioning testing begun for key process plant systems as we approach mechanical completion.
  • In the coming weeks, focus will be to move from construction to pre-commissioning and commissioning activities.
  • We expect to obtain authorisation to connect to the power grid on time, which will allow us to start no-load testing and progress to water testing during November and full load commissioning with ore by year end. We anticipate our ongoing success in mitigating Covid19 related impacts will allow us to meet our planned start up schedule.
  • We continue to process development ore at the Fresnillo plant, generating cash and simultaneously refining our metallurgy understanding for a more efficient ramp up of the plant.

2021 Priorities

  • Continue development of the mine
  • Continue to process development ore at the Fresnillo beneficiation plant at an average rate of 16,000 tonnes per month, through into 3Q 2021 on a consolidated basis.
  • Commission the Juanicipio beneficiation plant by 4Q 2021.
  • Ramp up the mine to 40-50% of nameplate capacity by year end.

Full release - Juanicipio JV announcement »