Coming off its completion of successful financings totalling C$1.57 million earlier this year, Silver Bullet Mines Corp. (TSXV: SBMI) has now made a production decision for its Washington mine on patented land in Idaho.
The decision was made based on the board’s review of a combination of factors, including historical records, recent field programs, proposed budget, existing infrastructure and current data, including a blended bulk sample that yielded 55.5 oz. silver per tonne.
The Washington mine consists of over 118 acres of private property as mining patents, with the ability to increase the land package significantly through additional agreements for U.S. Bureau of Land Management mining claims.
Historically, the Washington mine was a high-grade gold property that first saw production in the late 1800s, with an average gold grade of 34.28 g/t. It again produced gold in the 1930s, during which time the then-owner lacked the processing capability needed to produce silver, so a decision was then made to block out the silver mineralization, with the intention of returning at a future date to extract it.
To the best of the company’s knowledge, the blocked-out volume remains in situ. A historical report indicates the blocked-out volume contains an estimated 3 million ounces of silver with a grade of 1,030 to 3,085 g/t and 15,000 ounces of gold at 10.28 g/t.
This part of the Washington mine was last mined in the 1980s, when a bulk sample was removed by the then-owner and processed by Hecla Mining. That bulk sample resulted in a grade of 1,508 g/t silver and 10 g/t.
According to Silver Bullet, the historical records and existing infrastructure suggest it should be able to, in the short-term, extract a bulk sample of 1,500 to 3,000 tonnes of mineralized material from that blocked-out volume. After a brief pause to assess the results of the bulk sample and to inspect more of the existing infrastructure, the company would continue extracting material from this part of the mine and also develop a ramp to the high-grade parallel structure identified in last year’s field program.
Silver Bullet is now waiting on metallurgical testing results to create an appropriate flowsheet and recovery parameters, following which it will reach terms with a third-party mill in Idaho. The resulting processed silver and other materials will be sold to local smelters at spot prices.
The company also revealed that it is in discussions with two commodity brokers interested in buying the expected concentrate.
The production decision in Idaho comes just as Silver Bullet is preparing to begin mining at the Buckeye mine in Arizona. The company is also developing several other properties in Arizona, including the former-producing McMorris and Silver Sevens mines.