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Zgounder (Ag)

About Zgounder

Located in the central Anti-Atlas mountains, Zgounder is the second most-important silver mine in Morocco after the Imiter Mine. Commercial production was reached in January 2019. A 2,700-tpd expansion feasibility study was delivered in February 2022 that, supported by a high-grade maiden reserve, confirmed strong economics for quadrupling post-expansion production to 6.8 million oz Ag.

 

Highlights

  • 2022 silver production guidance: 1.65 -1.80 million oz
  • Type of mine: underground
  • Current mining method: cut and fill
  • Processing method: flotation (500 tpd) – cyanidation (200 tpd)
  • Expansion to 2,700 tpd underway for expected completion in 2024
  • Ownership: 85%-15% joint venture between Aya and ONHYM (the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines) of the Kingdom of Morocco
  • 2022 mineral reserves: 8,590,000t at 257 g/t Ag for 70,876,000 oz
  • M&I mineral resources: 9,765,000t at 306 g/t Ag for 96,057,000 oz (December 13, 2021)
  • Inferred mineral resources: 542,000t at 367 g/t Ag for 6,395,000 oz (December 13, 2021)
  • 2022 exploration: 22,500m drilling (mine permit) and 7,500m (regional permits)
  • Geotech’s VTEM™ heliborne terrain, magnetic and radiometric geophysical survey ongoing over Zgounder Regional permits

 

History

900 - 1200

First explored and mined

1982 - 1990

SOMIL-owned UG mine at 75,000t/yr

1990 - 1997

Exploration by the BRPM

2009

PFS to re-open Zgounder Mine

2012

Acquisition of Zgounder

2013

Creation of Zgounder Millennium Silver Mining

2014

First silver pour:
200-tpd mill capacity

2015 - 2017

4,820m of T28 drilling &
13,140m of DD surface drilling

2018

PEA & NI 43-101

2019

Flotation plant:
commercial production

2020

Flowsheet reconfiguration

2022

2,700 tpd expansion
feasibility study

2022 Feasibility Study

In February 2022, a feasibility study confirmed strong economics for expanding Zgounder Mine throughput from 700 tpd to 2,700 tpd by building a 2,000 tpd flotation-CIP plant to produce silver ingots. The feasibility study, which is supported by a high-grade maiden reserve, is expected to quadruple production to 6.8M oz Ag per year at low LOM AISC of $9.58/oz.

 

Reports


 
Technical Report, Feasibility Study, Zgounder Expansion Project – June 16, 2022
 
ESIA, Zgounder Expansion Project – February 2022
 
Technical Report and Updated Mineral Resource Estimate – January 28, 2022
 
Technical Report and Updated Mineral Resource Estimate – April 30, 2021
 
Preliminary Economic Assessment – Technical Report March 16, 2018
 
Preliminary Economic Assessment (March 2014)

 

Location

The mine is located approximately 260 kilometers east of Agadir, within the Proterozoic Siroua Massif of the Anti-Atlas range.

Access

The Zgounder Mine is accessible from Agadir on well-maintained paved highways (N10 and P1706) that run east for 205 kilometers to Taliouine in the Taroudant province. The bulk of the remaining 61 kilometers to the mine are traveled on a well-paved road to the village of Askaoun. The last five-kilometer stretch to the mine is on a dirt road that could be easily be upgraded.

Surface area

The mining permit covers 16 km², and the 7 exploration permits cover 96 km².

Operating Highlights

2021 2020 2019 2018
Ore processed (tons) 224,515 128,923 100,667 39,763
Average grade (g/t Ag) 269 255 217.6 278.5
Silver ingots produced (oz) 692,392 439,448 286,294 258,469
Silver concentrate produced (oz) 908,254 286,871 166,122
Total silver produced (oz) 1,600,646 726,319 452,416 258,469

Mineralization

According to Marcoux @ al., 2005, “The Zgounder mineralisation is hosted within a Proterozoic volcanosedimentary series. Disseminated mineralization is dominated by mercuriferous native silver (2 to 30 wt.% Hg), with few silver sulfosalts (acanthite, pearceite), arsenopyrite and base-metal sulfides (Fe, Pd, Zn and Cu). Similarities are obvious with the neighbouring silver deposit of Imiter (Managem, located 350km East) and lead to consider Zgounder as another example of Neoproterozoic epithermal deposit in the Anti-Atlas of Morocco, a region that appears more and more as a silver metallogenic province”.
 
The paragenetic sequence shows two successive stages: an early Fe–As stage, followed by an Ag-bearing polymetallic (Zn–Pb–Cu–Hg) stage.
Paragenetic sequence and mineral intergrowth suggest that the two mineralisation styles belong to a single hydrothermal event. Native silver is by far the most common silver mineral. It is not pure silver, but a Ag–Hg amalgam. Acanthite (Ag2S) is the main silver sulfide but less abundant, also present are tennantite and tetrahedrite.
 

Exploration

For 2022, an initial $6.4 million exploration budget has been assigned to Zgounder for a 30,000m drill program. A total of 22,500m will build on the 2021 successful near-mine drill program and has been designed to expand existing resources at depth and test strike extensions to the east. Starting in Q2-2022, 7,500m of RC and diamond drilling will be completed on the Zgounder Regional permits to follow up the targets identified by the airborne geophysics and mapping programs.

 
Zgounder 2022 Initial Drill Program
 

 
Qualified Persons

The Zgounder Expansion Feasibility Study is based on a technical report entitled “NI43-101 TECHNICAL REPORT – FEASIBILITY STUDY ZGOUNDER EXPANSION PROJECT”, originally dated March 31, 2022, and amended on June 16, 2022 with an effective date of December 13, 2021 (“The Zgounder Report”) which was prepared under the supervision of Daniel M. Gagnon, DRA, with the participation of William Stone, Antoine Yassa, Jarita Barry, Fred Brown, Eugene Puritch, Daniel Morrison, André-François Gravel, Claude Bisaillon, Julie Gravel, Kathy Kalenchuk, Hugo Della Sbarba, Philippe Rio Roberge, Richard Barbeau & Stephen Coates, all “Qualified Persons” for the purpose of the Zgounder Report.
Scientific and technical information contained on this page have been reviewed and approved by Marc-Antoine Audet, Ph.D. P. Geo, Geological Consultant and a QP as defined under NI 43-101.