The Concepcion del Oro district has a long mining history with mining in this area primarily focused on precious metals. In 1889, the Mazapil Copper Company Ltd. (“Mazapil Copper”) of England, acquired the old mines, and mining and processing expanded to include production of copper and zinc. In1962, Mazapil Copper ceased operations on the property. Various companies have explored and operated the Aranzazu mine since then.
The Company declared commercial production for the Aranzazu mine effective February 1, 2011, upon the mine and mill having substantially passed mechanical completion and commissioning. The mine plan for 2012 and 2013 includes a combination of open pit and underground mining, transitioning into full underground operations thereafter.
Underground mining continues to be ramped up with the mining of ore from the high grade BW and AA Zones. Ramp up of underground operations was much slower than expected in the first half of 2011 due to the delay in delivery of mine equipment and difficulty in hiring suitably qualified mine operations personnel, but considerable improvements were made in the fourth quarter of 2011 as development and production levels approached targeted levels. The next stages of underground mine development will continue to be in the Mexicana Zone as well as the BW and AA Zones.