Pan American Silver Corp. [PAAS-TSX, NASDAQ] has released an updated mineral resource estimate for its 100%-owned La Colorada skarn project in Zacatecas, Mexico.
It said the estimated indicated resource now stands a 95.9 million tonnes, containing 94.4 million ounces of silver, 2.7 million tonnes of zinc, and 1.2 million tonnes of lead. On top of that is an inferred resource of 147.8 million tonnes, containing 132.9 million ounces of silver, 3.4 million tonnes of zinc, and 1.5 million tonnes of lead.
“The updated mineral resource estimate is a significant increase relative to our previous mineral resource estimate released on August 4, 2020, the company said in a press release, Thursday.
Notably, the company said high grade intercepts announced in July, 2022 are not included in the latest estimate and the deposit remains open in nearly all directions for further resource expansion.
Pan American was founded in 1994 by financier Ross Beaty. Since then, the company has grown from a start-up to become the world’s second largest primary silver producer with the world’s largest silver reserves and resources, while also becoming a significant gold producer.
Pan American, owns and operates mines in Mexico, Peru, Canada, Argentina and Bolivia. Its portfolio includes the Escobal mine in Guatemala, where operations are currently suspended.
In Canada, the portfolio includes the Timmins West and Bell Creek (together Timmins) operations.
Pan American owns 100% of the large (La Colorada Skarn) polymetallic deposit discovered in 2018 through brownfield exploration near its La Colorada mine. The deposit was previously estimated to contain 141 million ounces of silver and a large volume of base metals based on the inferred resource estimate of 100.4 million tonnes (grading 44 g/t silver, 0.20% copper, 1.77% lead and 4.29% zinc) released back in August, 2020.
“Our exploration team has done a remarkable job of delineating a large resource with notable growth potential in only four years,’’ said Christopher Emerson, Pan America’s vice-president business development and geology.
“The prospect of an extensive polymetallic deposit located below our largest and highest-grade silver mine is very promising, and based on its size, we believe the skarn could provide Pan American with production for many decades,’’ added Pan American President and CEO Michael Steinmann.
“Our next steps to advance the project involve incorporating the most recent drill results and high-grade intercepts into the resource model, and continuing the development of preliminary project engineering studies,’’ he said. “Our aim is to release an updated technical report on the La Colorada property in 2023 that includes a preliminary economic assessment of the skarn deposit,’’ Steinmann said.
On Thursday, Pan American shares eased 1.4% or 30 cents to $20.83. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $38.51 and $28.94.