Mineral Resources in the Altiplano

mines and projects_altiplano

The Altiplano Mexicano is one of the most prospective mining regions in Mexico attested by the vast production carried out through its more than 500 years of mining history. Displaying great diversity of ore deposits, this mining-friendly region still holds considerable resources, a lot of which are contained in reckoned world class deposits.

This mining region has seen important events in the past decades, especially in Zacatecas, attracting the attention of many mining companies with the discoveries of Francisco I Madero and San Nicolas deposits in 1999-2000, followed by the discoveries of the giant deposits of Peñasquito and Camino Rojo some years later. The Juanicipio and Saucito deposits also prove the prospectivity of the region with the successful brownfield exploration programs conducted in the vicinity of the Fresnillo Mine.

Durango State also deserves a special note with the recent discoveries of La Preciosa and Pitarrilla, while Chihuahua shows a couple of important discoveries with Los Gatos and Cordero.

To date, mining companies have outlined resources in 79 properties, 42 of which are in production and 37 more in feasibility or development.

Up to 2014, total published resources for 53 M oz Au, 6,048 M oz Ag, 9,937 M lb Cu, 26,748 M lb Pb, and 71,006 M lb Zn have been delineated in nine types of ore deposits: low-sulphidation epithermal, intermediate-sulphidation epithermal, carbonate replacement, Mississippi valley, porphyry copper, SEDEX, stratiform copper, skarn and VMS.

Intermediate-sulphidation epithermal is the most relevant mineralization style in the Altiplano, with more than 40.7 M oz Au, 4,767 M oz Ag, 957 M lb Cu, 22,136 M lb Pb, and 46,012 M lb Zn in thirty one deposits, that represent over 77% and 79 %, of the total resources of Au and Ag respectively. This mineralization style is followed by the low-sulphidation epithermal style with almost 5 M oz Au and 448 M oz Ag in twenty one deposits, that represent over 9% and 7% of the total resources of Au and Ag respectively.

Carbonate replacement deposits contain over 1.7 M oz Au, 301 M oz Ag, 3,113 M lb Cu, 2,385 M lb Pb, and 9,590 M lb Zn in ten properties. Skarn deposits have resources for 1.9 M oz Au, 280 M oz Ag, 1,978 M lb Cu, 1,197 M lb Pb, and 5,148 M lb Zn in eight properties.

The rest of the Au, Ag, Pb, Zn and Cu resources are distributed in two porphyry coppers, one MVT, one VMS, one SEDEX, and one stratiform copper deposits.

The table below shows the total gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc resources (all inclusive) for each mineralization style.

total published all-inclusive resources in the altiplano

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