Vancouver-based MAG Silver Corp. plans for full commissioning of its 44% owned Juanicipio processing plant in mid-2022.
Fresnillo owns the remaining 56% of Juanicipio.
Water commissioning of the Mexican plant began in the March quarter. Commissioning of the grinding mills will begin when the plant is connected to the national power grid. Grid connection is expected in mid-2022.
The plant will be ramped up to 85-90% of nameplate capacity by the end of the year, MAG Silver said.
In the meantime, Fresnillo is allowing ores from Juanicipio to be processed at its neighbouring Fresnillo and Saucito plants until the Juanicipio plant is commissioned.
For the March quarter, the Fresnillo and Saucito plants processed 145,484 tonnes, an average of 48,495 tonnes per month. The plants produced 2,238,810 silver ounces, 5,345 payable gold ounces, 1,066 tonnes of lead and 1,448 tonnes of zinc.
A further 49,096 tonnes with a silver head grade of 668 g/t were processed in April through both the Fresnillo and Saucito plants.
Cashflow from the US$46,221 in sales for Juanicipio, will be put towards de-risking the plant's metallurgical performance to speed up project ramp-up.
Of the tonnes processed in the March quarter, 54% were processed at the Saucito plant. Because the flowsheet of Saucito is similar to that of Juanicipio, MAG anticipates metallurgical benefits once the Juanicipio plant is producing.