Kuya Silver begins production at Bethania mine in Peru

First full ore cart, material from the Española vein hauled up from the 640 level by a motorized winch and ready to be dumped on the ore stockpile. Credit: Kuya Silver

Toronto-based Kuya Silver (CSE: KUYA) has announced its first production from the Bethania project. Located in central Peru, Bethania is the site of a former mine that produced silver-lead and zinc concentrates from run-of-mine material until 2016.

Over the past few months, the company has focused on reconditioning of the western portion of the mine to allow for safe production from this initial stope. Mineralized material is now being recovered from the Española vein system at the 640 level, hauled to surface using the pre-existing decline and a winch on surface, Kuya said.

Initial production is being stockpiled at the mine to be transported in larger batches for milling. Production and stockpiling operations for the first processing batch may take a month or more. However, as operations scale, the company anticipates transitioning to producing a processing batch every few days.

Meanwhile, reconditioning of other areas will continue at the 640 and 670 levels, and production access for the 12 de Mayo and Victoria vein systems are to be developed in the coming months.

“Achieving first production from the Bethania mine is a monumental milestone for Kuya Silver and signifies the beginning of increased production in this rich silver district,” Christian Aramayo, Kuya Silver’s COO, commented.

Production is expected to ramp up progressively over the next year to an initial target of 350 tonnes per day as set out in the project’s 2020 preliminary economic assessment. According to the PEA, the mine would produce 8.68 million oz. of payable silver over a 6.5-year mine life, including 1.37 million oz. in the first year.