Mining Intelligence and News

San Rafael Mine

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Mine TypeUnderground
  • Silver
  • Zinc
  • Lead
Mining Method
  • Post Pillar Cut & Fill
Backfill type ... Lock
Production Start... Lock
SnapshotSan Rafael is part of the Cosalá Operations. Ore at the Cosalá Operations is produced from the San Rafael mine with Main Zone production being increasingly supplemented by the Upper Zone ore starting in 2022 and treated at the Los Braceros process plant.

A blockade at the Cosalá Operations led to the suspension of mining and processing from Q1 2020 to Q4 2021 while the Company worked to resolve the issue. The Cosalá Operations produced continuously through 2022 and 2023.
Related AssetCosala Operation


Americas Gold and Silver Corp. (operator) 100 % Indirect
The Cosalá Operations is 100% owned and operated by Americas’ wholly-owned subsidiaries, Platte River Gold Inc., Minera Platter River Gold S.A. de R.L. de C.V. and Minera Cosalá S.A. de C.V.



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Deposit type

  • Skarn
  • VMS


Three principal zones of sulfide mineralization have been identified within a broad area of skarn alteration in the vicinity of San Rafael and nearby El Cajón. The San Rafael Main Zone consists of masses of sulfide grains that occur as replacements at an unconformable contact between what is believed to be Tertiary dacite tuff and Cretaceous limestone. Although it can be difficult to determine the host rock when total sulfide content is 90 to 100%, most of the massive sulfide replacement mineralization appears to be hosted in the dacite tuff. It contains silver, lead, and zinc mineralization with lessor gold and copper. The main minerals are pyrite, pyrrhotite, sphalerite, and galena with minor marcasite, chalcopyrite, and magnetite. This mineralization in the San Rafael Main Zone is often associated with quartz-sericite-pyrite alteration that has been interpreted as more distal skarn alteration. It has also been suggested that the San Rafael Main Zone displays many similarities to volcanogenic massive-sulfide deposits, such as those found in the Guerrero Terrane in central Mexico.

Mineralization within the Main Zone at San Rafael is primarily massive, sulfide-replacement material, which can contain greater than 90% sulfides, dominantly pyrite and pyrrhotite. The sulfide body is discrete, tabular, and lies along the shallow-dipping dacite tuff-limestone contact where it has been referred to as “massive-sulfide mineralization” in previous reports. The zinc, lead, and silver, for the most part, lies within the body of sulfide replacement and consists of sphalerite and galena. The contacts of all elemental zones generally overlap within the massive sulfide, but mineral-shell boundaries and their internal grade distribution are not necessarily coincident.

The silver-gold “Upper Zone” lies within the Tertiary volcanic rocks about 50 to 100m above the Main Zone sulfide replacement of the San Rafael deposit. The Upper Zone is composed of irregular, subhorizontal layers sub-parallel to the Main Zone. Mineralization consists of sulfides, but sulfide content is much less than in the Main Zone. Weak base-metal mineralization occurs with the silver.



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.



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The Cosalá Operations was put on care and maintenance in February 2020. The Company commenced reopening the operation in September 2021.
Silver koz  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe572448
Zinc M lbs  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe4334
Lead M lbs  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe1613
Silver Equivalent oz  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe4,685,0534,165,326
Gold Equivalent oz  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
All production numbers are expressed as metal in concentrate.

Operational metrics

Daily ore mining rate  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Tonnes milled  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe613,814 t544,472 t

Production Costs

Total cash costs Silver USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe -18.31 / oz **   -37.95 / oz **  
All-in sustaining costs (AISC) Silver USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe -10.9 / oz **   -19.66 / oz **  
** Net of By-Product.


Capital expenditures M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 4.2   8.2  
Revenue M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 39.6   41.5  
Pre-tax Income M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 0.3   3.4  
After-tax Income M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe -1   2.8  

Heavy Mobile Equipment


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Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Apr 21, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Apr 21, 2024

Aerial view:


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