Fresnillo expects to launch Juanicipio mine operations in October

The Juanicipio project is located in the Fresnillo silver trend in Mexico. Image from MAG Silver.

Mexican precious metals miner Fresnillo said Tuesday it expects to begin operating a mine in central Mexico owned by Canada’s Mag Silver by the end of October, following months of delays.

Fresnillo, the world’s leading silver producer, and Mag Silver had agreed in April 2019 to develop the Juanicipio deposit located in the state of Zacatecas, but the pandemic and logistical setbacks delayed the project.

Though Mexico’s state utility still requires further tests, Fresnillo said this delay should not impact next year’s production forecasts from the deposit, which has high-grade epithermal deposits of silver, gold, lead and zinc.

“Juanicipio is our next big growth project, the ninth new mine we have successfully built since we listed in London in 2008,” Fresnillo Chief Executive Octavio Alvidrez said in a statement.

In December, the companies announced that the project had been set back a further six months as the mine’s connection to the grid still lacked approval from the state utility company, preventing it from authorizing operations.

On Tuesday, Fresnillo said “all construction activities related to the final connection to the grid electrical system have been completed and all systems are ready to be electrified.”

“We expect that the energy for the final commissioning and the start of operations should be available by the end of October,” with the start of production beginning immediately after, the company said in a statement.

(By Raul Cortes)

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