Sierra Madre Gold and Silver (SM.V) has confirmed SEMARNAT has approved the requested modifications to the existing operating permit for the La Guitarra mine and mill. The modifications include the possibility to create a dry stack tailings facility, construct a tailings filter plant adjacent to the mill and to use tailings to backfill the Guitarra underground mine.

That’s a significant development for Sierra Madre as the approval to use the dry stack tailings method allows it to defer the construction of the more capital intensive ‘classic’ tailings facility as a higher tonnage can be deposited within the current tailings facility limits. The company already has the approval to construct a fourth ‘traditional’ tailings facility but using the dry stack method is just easier.

The existing remaining tailings capacity of 230,000 tonnes will be used during the restart of the mining operations, while the company works on the dry stack and paste backfill tailings disposal system. The latter will allow Sierra Madre to pump a slurry, mixed with cement, to areas of the La Guitarra mine that have been mined out. The backfill material will fill open voids and enhance mine stability.

And on top of the approvals related to the infrastructure, SEMARNAT also approved the construction of 58 surface drill pad sides to drill-test the vein systems in the immediate surroundings of the Guitarra mine and veins.

Disclosure: The author has a long position in Sierra Madre Gold and Silver. Sierra Madre is a sponsor of the website. Please read the disclaimer.

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