Projects

Juanicipio





Progress at Juanicipio
Report
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JUANICIPIO PROPERTY
MUNICIPIO FRESNILLO ZACATECAS, MEXICO


The Company owns 44% of Minera Juanicipio, a Mexican incorporated joint venture company, which owns and operates the Juanicipio property located in the Fresnillo District, Zacatecas State, Mexico. Fresnillo holds the remaining 56% interest in the joint venture and is the project operator. The Juanicipio Property hosts, at this time, three significant high grade silver (gold, lead and zinc) veins: the Valdecaņas Vein, with its footwall offshoot the Desprendido Vein and the Juanicipio Vein.

Exploration and development programs for the Juanicipio Property are designed by the Minera Juanicipio Technical Committee, approved by the Minera Juanicipio Board of Directors and executed by the project operator, Fresnillo. The Company's share of costs is funded primarily through its 44% interest in Minera Juanicipio, and to a lesser extent, incurred directly by the Company to cover expenses related to parallel technical studies and analyses commissioned by the Company, as well as direct oversight of the drilling programs executed on the property.

Approval and Commencement of an Underground Development Program

3D Valdecaņas Video - Feb 2017
Report
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With the completion of the AMC Study (see more information under 2012 Exploration Update below), MAG and Fresnillo now have a framework on which the joint venture Technical Committee can build upon for the continued advancement of the Juanicipio Project. On August 15, 2012, the Company announced that the board of directors of Minera Juanicipio (based on the recommendation of the Minera Juanicipio Technical Committee) had approved an 18 month mine permitting and underground development budget of $25 million. Originally, $10 million was expected for 2012 with the remaining $15 million earmarked for 2013, but the majority of this budget has been rolled over into 2013 and the early part of 2014 because of development permitting delays resulting from the Mexican government changeover late in 2012. The budgeted program covers mine permitting, surface preparation and the commencement of the first 2,500 metres of underground decline development. The proposed work plan is based on recommendations provided to Minera Juanicipio in the AMC Study (see UPEA above). The development program will be managed by Fresnillo as operators of the Joint Venture.

Minera Juancipio began the development permitting process in the fall of 2012 and has since commenced a variety of development studies. A hydrogeology (water management) study has been commenced. A geotechnical study has been completed with the assistance of Peņoles' (a related party of Fresnillo) Geotechnical & Construction Group, which has included a visit to the nearby Fresnillo Saucito operation in order to analyze rock quality in anticipation of stope preparation and development at Juanicipio. As well, a division of Peņoles (CIDT) has been contracted to run the recommended metallurgical tests, with almost 254 kilograms of ore bearing material collected systematically along the deposit for metallurgical studies to be carried out.

Originally expected in the first quarter of 2013, the operator Fresnillo now reports that it expects the underground decline ground breaking to commence in the second quarter of 2013. Five different contractors from North and South America have been asked to tender for the decline construction and a decision is pending.

2012 Exploration Update

Minera Juanicipio completed 28,888 metres of drilling on the property in the year ended December 31, 2012, representing approximately 80% of the 36,000 metre 2012 drilling budget. Drilling was designed to convert inferred mineral resources to indicated mineral resources on the Valdecaņas Vein and delineate the high grade ore shoot emerging on the Juanicipio Vein. Drilling was also targeted on the Las Venadas vein and exploring for additional veins.

Updated Preliminary Economic Assessment ("UPEA")

A National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") compliant Updated Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Juanicipio Project, commissioned by Minera Juanicipio and carried out by AMC Mining Consultants (Canada) Ltd. (the "AMC Study") was announced on June 14, 2012 and filed on SEDAR on July 16, 2012.

The AMC Study was commissioned as one of the studies necessary to evaluate the manner in which the Juanicipio Property might be developed on a 'stand-alone' basis. The AMC Study defines the Juanicipio Project as a high-grade underground silver project that will produce an average of 15.1 million payable ounces of silver per year over the first full six years of commercial production and 10.3 million payable ounces per year over a 14.8 year total mine life.

AMC STUDY BASE CASE HIGHLIGHTS1
 

  • Pre-tax Net Present Value ("NPV") at a 5% discount rate of $1.762 Billion and an Internal Rate of Return ("IRR") of 54%;
  • After-tax NPV at a 5% discount rate of $1.233 billion and IRR of 43%;
  • Payback of 3 years after plant start-up;
  • Initial capital cost of $302 million over a 3.5 year (42 months) pre-development period;
  • Sustaining Capital of $267 million over life of mine;
  • A 14.8 year mine life from mining and processing 13.3 million tonnes, averaging 416 grams per tonne ("g/t") silver, 1.3 g/t gold, 1.4% lead and 2.7% zinc;
  • Life-of-Mine payable production of 153 million ounces silver, 430,000 ounces gold, 361 million pounds lead and 584 million pounds zinc from the production of lead, zinc and pyrite concentrates;
  • Annual payable silver production averages 10.3 million ounces at a total cash cost of (negative) ($0.03) per ounce silver, net of by-product credits (MAG's 44% annual share of payable silver ounces is 4.5 million ounces);
  • For the first full six years of commercial production, payable silver production averages 15.1 million ounces per year at a cash cost of $0.27 per ounce silver, net of by-product credits (MAG's 44% annual share is 6.6 million ounces) and;
  • The AMC Study does not take into account any potential mining, processing or infrastructure synergies from any association with the adjoining property owned by Fresnillo.

1 The AMC Base Case utilizes a discount rate of 5% and three year trailing average metal prices for silver ($23.39 per ounce), gold ($1,257 per ounce), lead ($0.95 per pound) and zinc ($0.91 per pound) to December 31, 2011.

The Preliminary Economic Assessment is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty that the Preliminary Economic Assessment will be realized.

The table below illustrates the effect of silver and gold prices on key economic measures. Note that the gold price varies with the silver price at a constant ratio of approximately 53.7:1.


Table 2: Silver Price Sensitivity Analysis:

 

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Discount Rate (5%)   Base Case          
               
 Au ($/oz) 1,075 1,257 1,342 1,476 1,612 1,746 1,881
 Ag ($/oz) 20.00 23.39 25.00 27.50 30.00 32.50 35.00
               
Pre-Tax NPV ($M) $1,407 $1,762 $1,930 $2,192 $2,455 $2,717 $2,979
After-Tax NPV (M) $976 $1,233 $1,355 $1,544 $1,734 $1,923 $2,113
Pre-Tax IRR 47% 54% 57% 61% 65% 69% 73%
After-Tax IRR 37% 43% 46% 50% 53% 57% 60%
Cash cost $/oz. Ag (net of credits) 0.36 (0.03) (0.21) (0.49) (0.79) (1.07) (1.36)
Cash cost $/AgEq oz. 6.33 6.61 6.73 6.89 7.05 7.20 7.33
Payback (Years) From Plant Start up 4 3 3 3 3 2 2


Note: Cash costs include smelter, refining and transportation.

As indicated, project economics are robust across all modeled silver and gold price scenarios, and improve materially as the silver price exceeds the Base Case pricing. For example, at a $30.00 per ounce silver price and a 5% discount rate, the pre-tax NPV and IRR respectively increase to $2,455 million and 65% and $1,734 million and 53% on an after-tax basis. MAG's 44% pre and post-tax interest under this scenario equates to $1,080 million (and 65% IRR) and $763 million (and 53% IRR) respectively.

While the results of the AMC Study are promising, the AMC Study constitutes an updated preliminary economic assessment which by definition is preliminary in nature and includes Inferred Mineral Resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves. There can therefore be no certainty that the updated preliminary economic assessment in the AMC Study will be realized. It is also important to note that mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

Inferred Mineral Resources are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves.

Qualified Person: 
The estimate of the tonnage and grade of material to be mined and processed that form the basis for the economic assessment, and the financial analysis, disclosed in this MD&A for the Juanicipio Project are derived from the NI 43-101 compliant technical report entitled "Minera Juanicipio Property, Zacatecas State, Mexico, Technical Report for Minera Juanicipio S.A de C.V", authored by AMC Mining Consultants (Canada) Ltd. and dated 1 July 2012, which is filed on SEDAR. Mr. Michael Petrina, P.Eng, a "Qualified Person" for the purpose of National Instrument 43-101 and MAG's Vice President, Operations, has read and approved the contents of this MD&A as it pertains to the disclosed financial analysis.

The mineral resources used for the estimate in the NI 43-101 Technical Report for Minera Juanicipio S.A. de C.V. are derived from the NI 43-101 compliant technical report entitled "Mineral Resource Estimate, Minera Juanicipio, S.A. de C.V., Zacatecas, Mexico", authored by Strathcona Minera Services Limited and dated November 2011 which is filed on SEDAR. Mr. Michael Petrina, P.Eng, a "Qualified Person" for the purpose of National Instrument 43-101 and MAG's Vice President, Operations, has read and approved the contents of this MD&A as it pertains to the disclosed mineral resource estimate.

Information Concerning Estimates of Mineral Resources

Cautionary Note to Investors Concerning Estimates of Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources

This document uses the terms "Indicated Mineral Resources" and "Inferred Mineral Resources". MAG advises investors that although these terms are recognized and required by Canadian regulations (under National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission does not recognize these terms. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into reserves. In addition, "Inferred Mineral Resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of Inferred Mineral Resources are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them to enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves and, accordingly, Inferred Mineral Resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies, or economic studies except for a "Preliminary Economic Assessment" as defined under Canadian National Instrument 43-101. Investors are cautioned not to assume that part or all of an Inferred Resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable.


Neither the Toronto Stock Exchange nor the NYSE MKT has reviewed or accepted responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of this information, which has been prepared by management.

This information includes certain statements that may be deemed to be "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements in this information, other than statements of historical facts are forward looking statements including statements, including statements that address future mineral production, reserve potential, exploration drilling, exploitation activities and events or developments. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek", "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "predict", "potential", "targeting", "intend", "could", "might", "should", "believe" and similar expressions. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. Although MAG believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, changes in commodities prices, changes in mineral production performance, exploitation and exploration successes, continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions, political risk, currency risk and capital cost inflation. In addition, forward-looking statements are subject to various risks, including that data is incomplete and considerable additional work will be required to complete further evaluation, including but not limited to drilling, engineering and socio-economic studies and investment. The reader is referred to the Company's filings with the SEC and Canadian securities regulators for disclosure regarding these and other risk factors. There is no certainty that any forward looking statement will come to pass and investors should not place undue reliance upon forward-looking statements.

Please Note: Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosures in MAG's annual and quarterly reports and other public filings, accessible through the Internet at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov.


Related Articles:
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Related News Releases:

April 23, 2015  Widest Intercepts to Date Extend High-Grade Valdecañas Vein to Depth
May 27, 2014  MAG Silver Announces Updated Juanicipio Resource Estimate
March 12, 2014  MAG Silver Reports Juanicipio Project Obtains Explosives Permit
February 17, 2014  MAG Silver Development & Exploration Update
October 28, 2013  MAG Silver Announces Start of Juanicipio Underground Development
June 14, 2012  MAG Silver Reports Juanicipio Updated PEA Study Prepared by AMC
January 20, 2012  MAG Silver Plans Increased Exploration at Juanicipio and Cinco de Mayo
December 19, 2011  MAG Silver Announces Additional Silver And Gold In Updated Juanicipio Resource Estimation By Roscoe Postle And Associates
November 10, 2011  MAG Silver Announces Updated Juanicipio Resource Estimate Prepared on Behalf of the Minera Juanicipio Joint Venture
 
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