Cozamin is a copper-silver underground mine with a surface milling facility, located 3.6 km north-northwest of Zacatecas City in the mineral-rich state of Zacatecas, Mexico. Since the first full year of operation in 2007, Cozamin has generated free cash flow at all points of the copper price cycle.
dry stack tailings
plant on track for
*This is an alternative performance measure; refer to the Company’s most recent MD&A for full details. C1 cash costs reported in US$ per payable lb Cu produced
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Cozamin is in the Morelos Municipality of the Zacatecas Mining District, near the south-eastern boundary of the Sierra Madre Occidental Physiographic Province, in north-central Mexico. The area is characterized by rounded northwest trending mountains with the Sierra Veta Grande to the north and the Sierra de Zacatecas to the south. Elevations at Cozamin vary from 2,400 masl to 2,600 masl. The mine is accessible via paved roads and excellent surrounding infrastructure includes schools, hospitals, railroads and electrical power.
Cozamin is an underground operation that has been continuously operated under Capstone since late 2006, when it commenced commercial production at a rate of 1,000 tonnes per day (“tpd”). At the time, it had a three-year mine life in reserve and successful exploration has extended the life of the mine to 2030.
From 2023 to 2030, average annual production is forecasted at 20 thousand tonnes and 1.3 million ounces of silver at average C1 costs of $1.51 per payable pound of copper. Between the five year period 2023 to 2027, average projected annual production is higher at 24 thousand tonnes of copper and 1.7 million ounces of silver, at lower average projected C1 costs of $1.46 per payable pound of copper.
The mine plan at Cozamin is based on a combination of longhole stoping and cut-and-fill mining methods. The mine plan contemplates using 10.2 million tonnes of ore from 2023 to 2030 (only Mineral Reserves included in the plan).
Construction of the new paste backfill plant was completed late in 2022 and is ramping up in 2023. Approximately half of the filtered tailings will be combined with cement to form a paste and pumped underground to be used as mine backfill, allowing for increased copper ore extraction.
Geology and exploration
The Zacatecas Mining District covers a belt of epithermal and mesothermal vein deposits that contain silver, gold and base metals (copper, lead and zinc). The district is in the Southern Sierra Madre Occidental Physiographic Province near the boundary with the Mesa Central Physiographic Province in north-central Mexico. The district occurs in a structurally complex setting, associated with siliceous subvolcanic and volcanic rocks underlain by sedimentary and meta-sedimentary rocks.
All mineralization at Cozamin occurs in veins, and fracture-controlled systems of veinlets. Currently mined mineralization at Cozamin is best described as intermediate sulphidation. The copper-rich intermediate sulphidation mineralization is an early phase that is enveloped, overprinted or brecciated by zinc-rich intermediate sulphidation mineralization.
Cozamin’s dominant mineralized vein systems include the Mala Noche Vein (“MNV”) and the Mala Noche Foot Wall Zone (“MNFWZ)”. On surface, the MNV was mapped for 5.5 km across the property. It strikes approximately EW and dips on average at 60° to the N. There are several shafts that provide access to historical workings, the largest historical area being the San Roberto mine and the second largest area being the San Rafael mine. Current exploration efforts are focused on the MNFWZ West Target and other brownfield targets in the property. MNFWZ is open locally to the SE and NW and down-dip (at depth), while MNV is open locally to the E and W and down-dip (at depth).
|Cu Production||23.0 – 25.0 thousand tonnes|
|C1 Cash Costs*||$1.50 – $1.65/lb Cu|
|Sustaining Capital||$25 million|
|Expansionary Capital||$5 million|
*Key Assumptions: MXN/USD: 20:1, Silver: $20/oz. All figures in USD.
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