Great magicians will never reveal how they accomplish their seemingly impossible feats. But, when a company possesses the magic touch, we investors have a chance to peek behind the curtain.
First Majestic Silver
Meanwhile, First Majestic continues to progress smoothly toward its very impressive plan to roughly double annual production to 16 million ounces of silver by 2014. The recently added La Guitarra mine acquired through the Silvermex acquisition is expected to chip in about 400,000 silver-equivalent ounces during the second half of 2012 alone! With a planned 43% expansion of the mill's throughput capacity by the first quarter of 2013, look for La Guitarra's output to easily surpass 1 million silver-equivalent ounces per year in just this first stage of enhancements that the company has up its sleeve.
But, when it comes to mapping out the key growth catalyst in First Majestic's precious bag of tricks, just click your heels and repeat three times: "There's no mine like Del Toro!" From the relatively humble beginnings of a 1,000 tonne-per-day operation due to begin later this year, Del Toro is expected to deliver 6.5 million silver-equivalent ounces during 2014 after a third phase in the mine's ramp-up process brings throughput to a substantial volume of 4,000 tonnes per day. The company was kind enough to send me some photographs of recent construction progress at Del Toro, which remains on schedule with more than 40% of the $58.5 million phase-1 budget committed thus far.
Elements of Del Toro's crushing circuit begin to take shape with the conveyor apparatus at center and the (underground) primary crusher.
Just down-slope from the crushing area, the foreground structure will house milling area, where ball mills and SAG mills will pulverize the crushed ore. The structure just below it, in the background, contains rows of floatation cells to begin concentrating the gold and silver content from within the pulverized-ore solution.
This is a digital rendering of what the finished Del Toro mill complex will look like.
Even as smaller competitors Endeavour Silver
Fool contributor Christopher Barker can be found blogging actively and acting Foolishly within the CAPS community under the username TMFSinchiruna. He tweets. He owns shares of Aurcana, Endeavour Silver, First Majestic Silver, Hecla Mining, and Silver Wheaton. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.