The Shafter project is located in Presidio County, Texas, within which the principal towns are Marfa and Presidio. Marfa (population 1,800) is a local administrative center that relies on arts and culture, ranching, and tourism. Presidio (population 4,100) is an important administrative center for US Border Patrols, agriculture, ranching, tourism, and transportation. It is located across the Rio Grande River from Ojinaga (population 23,000), Chihuahua, Mexico.
The mineralized zone at Shafter trends roughly 6,000 feet west-to-east, plunging gently to the east. The western end outcrops at surface and was developed as the Presidio Mine which operated from 1883 until 1942 when the mine was closed due to declining silver prices and the War Act. Total production during that period was approximately 2.3 million tons of ore containing 35.2 million oz of silver at an average grade of 15.24 oz of silver per ton. The old mine workings comprise close to 100 miles of drifts, declines, adits and stopes, and includes four historic production shafts.
Gold Fields Mining (“GFMC”) acquired the Presidio Mine in 1977 and from 1977 to 1982 spent approximately $20mm on exploration and development. Their work resulted in the discovery of the Shafter Deposit which was explored by drilling and 5,100 feet of underground drifts and cross-cuts accessed by a new 1,050-foot shaft serviced by an 80 tph hoist.
In 1994 the project was acquired by the Rio Grande Mining Company, and Silver Standard Resources subsequently acquired Rio Grande in 2001.
In July 2008, Aurcana acquired the Shafter Silver Project from Silver Standard.
In 2011 Aurcana began detailed engineering studies in mid-2010 and the mine portal was excavated in August 2011. Through to October 2013, the ramp had extended a distance of 3,800 feet. Stopes and raises were developed in 8 areas, with over 4,100 feet of mining development (821,000 ft3).
In 2012 the mill, refinery, warehousing and administrative buildings were built. The entire warehouse complex totals 24,000 sq. ft. with the main components including a maintenance shop, dry warehousing, an assay laboratory, an administration building, a mill process unit, mill offices and a Merrill-Crowe plant and refinery.
In December 2013 the project was placed on care and maintenance, in part due to declining silver prices and uncertainty surrounding the mineral resources.
In January 2016 an updated mineral resource estimate was released.
The scientific and technical information contained herein has been reviewed and approved by J. Blackwell (P.Geo), a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101 and a director of Aurcana.