Location and History
The Shafter silver mine is located in Presidio County, southwest Texas, and is fully accessible via paved highway from El Paso, Texas. Silver was mined in the Shafter region from 1883 until 1942, when the mine was closed, not by lack of ore, but by the War Act. Total production during that period was 2.3 million tons of ore containing 35 million ounces of silver at an average grade of 15.24 ounces per ton.
In 1977 Gold Fields Mining Company acquired and held the project until 1994, during which time over $20 million was spent on project development. Beginning in 1977 a systematic surface-drilling program of 262,400 feet in 891 drill holes resulted in the discovery of the eastern extension of the Presidio deposit, extending along strike for more than 5,000 feet from the lowest development work in the Presidio mine. Further development was halted due to the decline of the silver price at that time.
In 1994 the project was acquired by the Rio Grande Mining Company and additional exploration, mine planning, metallurgical design and studies were carried out. Silver Standard Resources subsequently acquired Rio Grande in 2001. In 2003 Silver Standard relocated a 900 ton per day mill to site.
Aurcana acquired the Shafter silver mine in 2008. All necessary infrastructure is in place with a major power line and paved highway crossing the property, an electrical sub-station on site, a 1,050 foot shaft serviced by a 80 ton per hour hoist, and 5,100 feet of underground development.