San Julián (Phase I)

The San Julián silver-gold project is a cornerstone of the Company’s 2018 production goals. The geological potential identified in the region thus far may be sufficient to establish a new mining district in the future.


Ownership: 100% Fresnillo plc
Location: Chihuahua/Durango border
Facilities: Underground mine, flotation plant and a dynamic leaching plant
Commercial Production: 2H16 (Phase I) / 1H17 (Phase II)
Anticipated Production: Avg. annual production of 11.6 moz silver, 63.7 koz gold
Pre-operative Capex: US$515 million
Life of Mine: 12 Years

The San Julián project includes construction of two plants: i) a dynamic leaching plant to treat ore from the veins and
ii) a flotation plant with 6,000 tpd capacity to process ore from the disseminated body. 

The leaching plant (Phase I) at San Julián has been in operation since mid-August 2016 and has since surpassed its 3,000 tpd nominal milling capacity, reaching 3,600 tpd. As a result of the ramp-up, silver and gold production were 2.1 moz and 31 koz, respectively (2016). With the additional optimisation projects, milling capacity at the leaching plant is expected to further increase to 4,000 tpd in 2017.

Quarterly Production

  1Q17 4Q16 % change FY16
Ore processed (t) 306,082 301,235 1.6 423,069
Gold (oz) 20,129
24,365 -17.4 31,397
Silver (koz) 1,386 1,581 -12.3 2,066
Ore grades        
Gold (g/t) 2.18 2.67 -18.3 2.47
Silver (g/t) 156.68 181.33 -13.6 172.46

Update 1Q17:

  • Quarterly gold and silver production decreased compared to 4Q16 due to expected lower ore grades.
    The decreases were partly compensated for by higher ore processed due to milling efficiencies achieved.

Key Developments:

  • Good progress made on the grinding bay structure, while construction of the main conveyor belt and thickeners, electric installation of the pumps and flotation cells were all concluded.
  • Plant exceeding 20% above nominal capacity at 3,600 tpd