Argentina

Diablillos Project

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StagePreliminary Economic Assessment
Commodities
  • Silver
  • Gold
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
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Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
AbraSilver Resource Corp. 100 % Indirect
Huayra is now a wholly owned subsidiary of AbraSilver, and AbraSilver holds indirect ownership of the Project through Huayra.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Epithermal
  • Vein / narrow vein

Summary:

The deposits at Diablillos, are high-sulphidation epithermal silver-gold deposits, derived from activity of hydrothermal fluids in a relatively shallow environment, often associated with fumaroles and hot springs. The principal mineralizing process is by convective flow of meteoric waters driven by remnant heat from intrusive activity at depth, often related to copper porphyry systems. The term “high-sulphidation” refers to the conversion of magmatic SO2 in aqueous solution into H2SO4 and H2S resulting in a highly acidic environment responsible for the diagnostic assemblage of alteration facies typically seen in these deposits. Mineral occurrences are structurally and hydrostatically controlled, with deposition occurring as open space filling at or near the level at which boiling occurs. As such, they characteristically subtend a limited vertical range, except where cyclical healing and failure of fractures results in up and down migration of the boiling zone.

MINERALIZATION
There are several mesothermal, and epithermal precious and base metal occurrences situated along the trend of the Diablillos - Cerro Galán fault zone within the northern and central Puna, including Diablillos, Incahuasi, Cóndor Yacu, Inca Viejo, and Centenario. Many of the mineral occurrences are spatially, and probably genetically, related to small Tertiary stocks and extrusive domes that are usually hydrothermally altered with disseminated and vein-hosted lead, zinc, silver, and gold (± tin, antimony, copper, and molybdenum) mineralization (Coira et al., 1993, quoted in Wardrop, 2009 and RPA, 2018).

There are seven known mineralized zones on the Diablillos property, with the Oculto zone being the most important and best explored:
1. Oculto including the Zorro and Cerro Bayo subzones.
2. Fantasma.
3. Laderas.
4. Pedernales including the Pedernales Sur subzone (including Truchas and Saddle showings) and Pedernales Norte subzone (including Vicuña, Corderos, Suri, and Guanaco showings).
5. Cerro del Medi.
6. Cerro Viejo.
7. Cerro Viejo Este.

Oculto is the principal deposit on the property and is the locality of the bulk of the present Mineral Resource. It is a high-sulphidation epithermal silver-gold deposit derived from remnant hot springs activity following Tertiary-age local magmatic and volcanic activity. It is evidenced at surface by a broad zone of intense acid leaching located on the flank of Cerro Bayo, although the economic mineralization does not outcrop. Host rocks at surface are hornblende porphyritic andesite which have been intruded by a dacite porphyry body (or bodies) which are hypothesized to be the thermal driver(s) for the mineralization (Tate, 2018). The andesites overlie a basement assemblage of phyllites and granitic rocks. At the contact of the andesite with the basement, there is a paleo-surface occupied by a discontinuous conglomerate unit of widely ranging thickness.

The deposit is strongly oxidized down to depths in the order of 300 m to 400 m below surface. In the oxide zone, precious metal mineralization consists of native gold, chlorargyrite, comparatively less common iodargyrite, and locally common bismuthinite (Stein, 2001). These minerals occur as fine - grained fracture fillings and vug linings in association with quartz, jarosite, plumbojarosite, hematite, and goethite. Other accessory minerals include alunite, barite, native sulphur, and bismoclite.

Hypogene mineralization comprises vein and breccia-hosted sulphides and sulphosalts underlying the oxide zones. Primary sulphide and sulphosalt minerals include pyrite, galena, enargite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, tennantite, and matildite. Accessory minerals include barite and alunite. Incipient supergene enrichment was observed by Stein (2001), with covellite partially replacing chalcopyrite and polybasite replacing tennantite. A review of early drill results, together with 2020 and 2021 drilling, demonstrates that high grade silver mineralisation is located in a zone between 100 and 150 meters below surface and extends beyond the steeply dipping feeder structures. This zone is considered to be a result of supergene enrichment.

The gold and silver mineralization throughout the deposit occurs as extremely fine grains along fractures and in breccias or coating the inside of vugs and weathered cavities. Mineral grains are very difficult to identity in core or hand specimen, and much of the identification of these minerals was done using electron microscope or microprobe. However, occasional visible native silver mineralisation occurs along fractures in the “supergene enrichment zone”.

Gold-silver mineralization is observed to occur in tabular silica veins, disseminations in bleached and altered wall rocks, and siliceous hydrothermal breccias, and has propagated laterally along the trend of the conglomerate and the Tertiary-Ordovician contact. This has imparted a complex geometry to the deposit, with a broadly north-easterly trend consisting of steeply dipping, structurally hosted zones along with more horizontal tabular bodies. The mineralization occurs within a vertical range of 3,965 MASL and 4,300 MASL, predominantly between elevations of 4,050 MASL and 4,250 MASL.

The core of the deposit is predominantly vuggy silica ± alunite surrounded by a zone of pervasive alunite and clay alteration, which in turn grades outwards into kaolinite with illite, smectite, and chlorite (Stein, 2001). Pervasive chlorite alteration underlies the mineralization in the southwest portion of the deposit. A steam-heated zone of alunite-clay-opal is preserved above 4,330 MASL and occurs in outcrop in the central portion of the deposit.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

CommodityUnitsAvg. AnnualLOM
Gold koz 52809
Silver Equivalent M oz 8.5
All production numbers are expressed as metal in doré.

Operational metrics

Metrics
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* According to 2022 study.

Production Costs

CommodityUnitsAverage
Total cash costs Silver Equivalent USD  ....  Subscribe
Total cash costs Gold Equivalent USD  ....  Subscribe
All-in sustaining costs (AISC) Silver Equivalent USD  ....  Subscribe
All-in sustaining costs (AISC) Gold Equivalent USD  ....  Subscribe
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Assumed price Gold USD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2022 study / presentation.
** Net of By-Product.

Operating Costs

Currency2022
OP mining costs ($/t milled) USD 12.6 *  
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G&A ($/t milled) USD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2022 study.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
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Pre-tax Cash Flow (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax NPV @ 5% $M USD  ......  Subscribe
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After-tax NPV @ 8% $M USD  ......  Subscribe
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Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNamePhoneProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Jan 13, 2022
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required ........... Subscription required Subscription required Dec 11, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Dec 11, 2023

EmployeesContractorsTotal WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required 2022

Aerial view:

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