Australian company Consolidated Zinc is revising its strategy at the Plomosas zinc mine in Mexico following positive scoping study results that confirmed a 100,000-tonne-a-year project.
The company is now planning to double production to a target of 250,000 tonnes a year in 2019 over a seven to 10-year mine life, while also increasing its stake in the project from 51 per cent to 90 per cent by 2018.
Plomosas, located Chihuahua in the north of Mexico, is considered one of the world’s highest grade zinc projects with 15.9 per cent zinc and lead per 154,000 tonnes of contained metal and 968,000 tonnes in total.
Mexico is currently ranked fifth in world rankings for mining investment and while foreign investment is largely Canadian, several Australian operators work in the region, most prominently Azure Minerals. BHP is also planning to start a deepwater oil facility as part of a joint venture with local oil company Pemex in the Gulf of Mexico.
According to Will Dix, managing director of Consolidated Zinc, the results of the scoping study suggest a good opportunity to move directly to mainstream production.
“Commencing small-scale production next ear is certainly a viable option to generate short-term cashflow with the aim of moving to more significant production within two to three years,” said Dix.
“The slightly extended timeline to production will allow us to continue our successful regional exploration programs, significantly upgrade our mineral resource and convert a greater percentage of the current inferred tonnes into an indicated category.”