United States Antimony Corporation (“USAC”, NYSE MKT “UAMY”) accelerates its exploration/development plan at the Los Juarez antimony/silver/gold property in Mexico while sharply increasing its milling and smelting capacity.
Based on mapping and sampling, the Los Juarez deposit has jasperoid zones containing antimony/silver/gold over a strike length of 3,000 meters and a width between 100 and 500 meters. USAC has begun to explore and develop several zones to determine grades.
The first zone, called ‘Minas Grande’, will be opened by benching and the ore-to-waste ratio and cut-off grade will be determined. Later in 2012, pneumatic drilling will be used to evaluate the deposit’s depth. Samples from previous workings at the Minas Grande dump assayed 2% antimony; 8 ounces of silver; and 0.015 ounces of gold. More than 5,000 tons of Los Juarez mill feed are ready for processing at USAC’s Puerto Blanco antimony flotation mill beginning in July.
The second zone, called ‘Los Juarez East’, is the largest jasperoid zone which will be developed by underground mining methods including drifting, raising and cross-cutting at a depth of more than 100 meters. This method could be more cost effective than core drilling and is expected to supply mill feed.
The third jasperoid zone, to be developed later, is called the ‘46 Zone’ due to an outcrop that assayed 46 ounces of silver per metric ton.
The processing capacity is being increased as well. A 500 ton per day ball mill and flotation cells, located in Montana, are being prepared for shipment to Mexico when warranted to increase USAC’s total milling capacity from 150 tons per day to 650. A large jaw crusher, a larger cone crusher, and additional gravity equipment have been installed to increase capacities and recoveries.
At the Mexican smelter, all four furnaces have been retrofitted for increased capacity to smelt more feed from seven Mexican antimony mines two of which are under option to USAC. Subject to permitting, four additional furnaces will be added. Finally, plans are underway to reduce energy costs by 70% by replacing propane with natural gas.