Mexico

Pinos Altos Mine

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Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit & Underground
Commodities
  • Gold
  • Silver
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
  • Sub-level stoping
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ShapshotThe exploration program at Pinos Altos is concentrating on examining the potential depth of various zones such as Cerro Colorado, Santo Nino, and Reyna East, as well as other targets on the property, in addition to the scheduled drilling at Cubiro.

Pre-construction activities at the Cubiro deposit were ceased in the final quarter of 2022. Initial production is now expected to begin in the second half of 2024, providing additional production flexibility to the Pinos Altos operations.

Open pit pre-stripping activities at Pit 1 in Reyna de Plata were completed as planned in the fourth quarter of 2022, and ore production exceeded target levels.
Related AssetCreston Mascota

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. 100 % Indirect
Agnico Eagle Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (operator) 100 % Direct
The Agnico Eagle's Pinos Altos mine is held through its indirect subsidiary, Agnico Eagle Mexico, S.A. de C.V.

Deposit type

  • Vein / narrow vein
  • Breccia pipe / Stockwork
  • Epithermal

Summary:

The Pinos Altos mine is in the northern part of the Sierra Madre geologic province, on the northeast margin of the Ocampo Caldera, which hosts many epithermal gold and silver occurrences, including the nearby Ocampo and Moris mines.

The property is underlain by Tertiary-age (less than 45 million years old) volcanic and intrusive rocks that have been disturbed by faulting. The volcanic rocks belong to the lower volcanic complex and the discordant overlying upper volcanic supergroup. The lower volcanic complex is represented on the property by the Navosaigame conglomerates (including thinly-bedded sandstone and siltstone) and the El Madrono volcanics (felsic tuffs and lavas intercalated with rhyolitic tuffs, sandy volcanoclastics and sediments). The upper volcanic group is made up of the Victoria ignimbrites (explosive felsic volcanics), the Frijolar andesites (massive to flow-banded, porphyritic flows) and the Buenavista ignimbrites (dacitic to rhyolitic pyroclastics).

Intermediate and felsic dykes as well as rhyolitic domes intrude all of these units. The Santo Nino andesite is a dyke that intrudes along the Santo Nino fault zone.

Structure on the property is dominated by a ten-kilometre by three-kilometre horst, a fault-uplifted block structure oriented west-northwest, that is bounded on the south by the south-dipping Santo Nino fault and on the north by the north-dipping Reyna de Plata fault. Quartz-gold vein deposits are emplaced along these faults and along transfer faults that splay outwards from the Santo Nino fault.

Mineralization
Gold and silver mineralization at the Pinos Altos mine consists of low sulphidation epithermal-type hydrothermal veins, breccias and bodies. The Santo Nino structure outcrops over a distance of roughly six kilometres. It strikes at 60 degrees azimuth on its eastern portion and turns to strike roughly 90 degrees azimuth on its western fringe. The structure dips at 70 degrees towards the south. The four mineralized sectors hosted by the Santo Nino structure consist of discontinuous quartz rich lenses named from east to west: El Apache, Oberon de Weber, Santo Nino and Cerro Colorado.

The El Apache lens is the most weakly mineralized. The area hosts a weakly developed white quartz dominated breccia. Gold values are low and erratic over its roughly 750 metre strike length. Past drilling suggests that this zone is of limited extent at depth.

The Oberon de Weber lens has been followed on surface and by diamond drilling over an extent of roughly 500 metres. Shallow holes drilled by the Company show good continuity both in terms of grade and thickness over roughly 550 metres. From the drilling done by a previous owner, continuity at depth appears to be erratic with a weakly defined western rake.

The Santo Nino lens is the most vertically extensive of these lenses. It has been traced to a depth of approximately 750 metres below the surface. The vein is followed continuously on surface over a distance of 550 metres and discontinuously up to 650 metres. Beyond its western and eastern extents, the Santo Nino andesite is massive and only weakly altered. Gold grades found are systematically associated with green quartz brecciated andesite.

The Cerro Colorado lens is structurally more complex than the three described above. Near the surface, it is marked by a complex superposition of brittle faults with mineralized zones which are difficult to correlate from hole to hole. Its relation to the Santo Nino fault zone is not clearly defined. Two deeper holes drilled by the Company suggest better grade continuity is possible at depth.

The San Eligio Zone is located approximately 250 metres north of Santo Nino. The host rock is brecciated Victoria Ignimbrite, occasionally with a stockwork style of mineralization. There is no andesite in this sector. Unlike the other lenses, the San Eligio lens dips towards the north. The lateral extent of the zone seems to be continuous for 950 metres. Its average width is five metres and never exceeds 15 metres. Surface mapping and prospecting has suggested that there is good potential for additional mineralization on strike and at depths below 150 metres. Visible gold has been seen in the drill core.

The Creston Mascota deposit is seven kilometres northwest of the Santo Nino deposit, and is similar, but dips shallowly to the west. The Creston Mascota deposit is approximately 1,000 metres long and four to 40 metres wide, and extends from surface to more than 200 metres depth. Several other promising zones are associated with the horst feature in the northwest part of the property.

The Cubiro deposit is a near-surface deposit located two kilometres west of the Creston Mascota deposit. Cubiro strikes northwest, has a steep dip and has been followed along strike for approximately 850 metres. Drilling has intersected significant gold and silver mineralization up to 30 metres in width. The Cubiro deposit is split by a fault that resulted in 200 metres of displacement to the west, as defined by drilling to date. The zone is still open to the southeast and possibly at depth.

The Sinter Zone is 1,500 metres north-northeast of the Santo Nino Zone and is part of the Reyna de Plata gold structure. The steeply dipping mineralization ranges from four to 35 metres in width and almost 900 metres long, with over 350 metres of vertical depth.

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

CommodityUnits2024202320222021202020192018201720162015
Gold oz  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe155,124181,057180,859192,772192,974
Silver koz  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe2,1612,3682,5352,5052,384
All production numbers are expressed as payable metal. ^ Guidance / Forecast.

Operational metrics

Metrics2024202320222021202020192018201720162015
Tonnes processed  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe2,006,652 t2,217,979 t2,307,872 t2,260,155 t2,378,406 t
Daily processing rate  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe5,499 t5,329 t6,323 t5,415 t5,462 t
Daily processing capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
^ Guidance / Forecast.

Production Costs

CommodityUnits20242023202220212020201920182017
Credits (by-product) Gold USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe -228 / oz   -201 / oz   -239 / oz  
Cash costs Gold USD  ....  Subscribe 839 / oz   601 / oz  
Total cash costs Gold USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 867 / oz   749 / oz   634 / oz  
Total cash costs Gold USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 639 / oz **   548 / oz **   395 / oz **  
^ Guidance / Forecast.
** Net of By-Product.

Operating Costs

Currency20232022202120202019201820172016
Total operating costs ($/t milled) USD 88  94  75  66  66  61  50  49  

Financials

Units20242023202220212020201920182017
Capital expenditures (planned) M USD  ....  Subscribe
Sustaining costs M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 28.1   34.8   40  
Capital expenditures M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 42   40.3   49.3  
Revenue M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 249.6   270.9   257.9  
Gross profit M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 61.1   62.3   89.2  

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.

Personnel

Mine Management

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EmployeesTotal WorkforceYear
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Aerial view:

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