The company that owns the Shafter Silver Project has started a preliminary economic assessment of the presently dormant mine.
The Aurcana Corporation, a Canadian company that owns the Shafter Silver Project, is exploring the “potential economic viability” of resuming operations at the mine, according to a company press release. A “preliminary economic assessment” (PEA) will provide Aurcana with an idea of the costs associated with resuming mining in Shafter with existing infrastructure and machinery.
The PEA is being conducted by two firms, Mine Development Associates of Reno, Nev., and Samuel Engineering Inc. of Denver, and is expected to be finished later in 2016.
Mining in Shafter has been on hold since late 2013. Aurcana purchased the mine in 2008 but was not running commercial silver production until December of 2012.
The mine operated for just a year before putting production on hiatus. In January, 2014, amid a 38-percent fall in silver prices, Aurcana laid off more than 150 mine employees and put the mine in “care and maintenance” condition, according to Big Bend Sentinel/International reporting from the time.
Aurcana’s subsidiary, Rio Grande Mining Company remained in litigation with the Presidio County Appraisal District over property taxes until mid-2014. The company finally agreed to pay $38 million of an initial $100-million appraisal.