Early July found Canadian-based mining interest, Endeavor Silver, spending $200 million on the El Cubo mine. Adding the new Guanajuato state acquisition to another Mexican gold and silver exploration project allowed Endeavor to raise its silver reserve estimates by over 40%. Endeavor’s “probable and proven reserve” has jumped to 23.85 million ounces.
Endeavor explained that more conservative parameters were used for estimating metals at its Bolanitos and Guanacevi mine reserves. The updated reserve estimate also climbed, since less ore at higher grades was realized at AuRico Gold, the Mexican subsidiary of Endeavor. Other reasons for the considerably greater reserve estimates were removal of an expired lease at the Las Torres mine and conversion of lower grade, open-pit resources at Delores-Capulin.
New reserve and resource computations raised Endeavor gold estimates a staggering 166%, a portion of which is located at El Cubo. The new reserve and resource statement was filed in mid-July, 2012.
Malku Khota is South American Silver Corp’s premier Bolivian mining project. Initial exploration on the project revealed an expected annual silver yield of 13.2 million ounces, in addition to rare earth metals. The Canadian company estimates it has invested some $16 million in the project since its inception.
Protests resulting in violence have plagued the Malku property, after work by South American’s local subsidiary had commenced. Evo Morales, president of the South American country, verified last week that he had cut a deal with protesters to take back the subsidiary’s previously granted mining concessions. Commodities contractor, Glencore was the first to experience revocation when violence broke out at its Bolivian mining project.
Bolivia’s vice president, Alvaro Garcia commented that “The state is predisposed to repay the costs of the exploration’s advances up to the date of revocation, once they are verified.” The Bolivian government believes the compensation figure will be less than $5 million. South American Silver will seek legal recourse if compensation proves to be inadequate.
Canadian silver mine developer, Excellon Resources Inc. suspended operations at its Mexican La Platosa mine in early July 2012. Work ceased at the Durango mine after protests by unionized employees and landowners, who joined together to block the mine entrance.
Although local government representatives have endeavored to meet with protesters, their attempts have been met with refusals from the striking union. Protests center around concessions for updated water treatment for landowners, and the union’s belief that Excellon is trying to oust the current union for one that is more company oriented.
Excellon continues to produce silver concentrate from the La Platosa mine, with material stockpiled at its Miguel Auza mill in Zacatecas. At the current rate of production, the stockpile will be depleted in a matter of days. Excellon will make decisions regarding mine and mill layoffs when all stockpiled materials have been used.
Local union head, Jorge Zamora threatens a continuing blockade if their demands are not met.
Every year thousands of tons of electronic devices are thrown into the world’s landfills. Scrapped in favor of newer, lighter, more efficient, more powerful and faster versions, used electronics are now becoming one of the most rapidly growing forms of waste generated by humanity.
According to the first Global e-sustainability Initiative, or GeSI, landfills now constitute veritable treasure troves of recoverable precious metals. When accounting for precious metals in proportion to total volumes of urban landfills, figures indicating available ore are estimated between forty and fifty times larger than actual mined ore volumes. If all this metal were to be recovered, the value could be as high as $21 billion dollars per annum. Currently less than 20% of this metal is actually being recycled. 7,500 tons of silver and 320 tons of gold are used annually in the production of consumer electronics.
Benefits generated by recycling of precious metals, like silver, copper and gold include reduced emissions from mining and manufacturing processes.
In 2011, Argentina came in tenth among global silver producers. Other Central American nations, like Chile and Peru rank much higher in silver production, as Argentina’s mined resources are still marginally developed.
Individual provinces in Argentina have the right to regulate the resources maintained within their own jurisdictions. Newly proposed legislation could cause problems for foreign companies who take the initiative to develop resource projects.
A case in point is the province of Chubut, where zoning is being undertaken to allow open pit mining. Unfortunately, the Argentine government and native resource companies will benefit greatly from the new laws, while foreign concerns have not been consulted and will not fare as well. Heavy taxation, large royalty payments and increased export duties may cause outside mining interests to shy away from Argentine resource development.
Environmental laws taking effect in Argentina may further limit precious metals exploration. The National Glacier Act is designed to protect glaciers for agricultural and tourism purposes, but could effect mining in the process.