- Zacatecas, Mexico
- Excellent with water access & paved highway
- Access to experienced local Mexican mining labour
Defiance Silver’s flagship project is located in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico, one of the most prolific Mexican mining states. Two of the largest silver mines in the world currently operate there; Fresnillo’s Zacatecas Silver Mine which has a milling capacity of 8,000 tpd / 2,640,000 tpy and reserves of 277.6 moz Silver, 667,000 oz Gold; Goldcorp’s Penasquito Polymetallic Mine, Mexico’s largest open pit mine operating at 130,000 tpd and produces 530,000 oz Gold annually. Other mines include Pan American’s La Colorado Mine, Capstone’s Cozamin Mine, and First Majestic’s Del Toro Mine.
The Veta Grande vein is a classic epithermal silver-gold (low sulphide) deposit. In colonial times, only the richest portions of the oxidized veins were mined, however, later sulphide mineralization was also exploited. Metal distribution in the veins varies, however, the Veta Grande system is predominately silver bearing with gold and base metals.
Mining in the state of Zacatecas goes back to pre-Hispanic times, whereby the Huichol people settled and mined silver from the oxidized zone of argentiferous vein deposits in the Zacatecas Mining District. The Spaniards arrived in the early 1500’s after the discovery of the major silver veins in the area. In 1548, production commenced at 3 mines: the Albarrada mine on the Veta Grande system, and the San Bernabe mine and Los Tajos del Panuco on the Mala Noche vein system. By 1588, large quantities of silver were being shipped from the region to Spain, and with increased production, by 1877, silver from the Zacatecas Silver District accounted for 60% of the value of all Mexican exports, making it one of Mexico’s wealthiest and largest cities of the era.
The district has seen significant production milestones. Historic production from the Zacatecas district is estimated to be 750,000,000 ounces of silver from 20 million tonnes grading over 900 g/t silver and approximately 2.5 g/t gold (Consejo de Recursos Minerales; Cardenas et al 1992).
Mexican Silver Belt in Zacatecas, Mexico