Reserves & Resources
Since 2004, our mine-site exploration efforts have been highly successful and the return on Pan American’s investment in brownfield exploration has been outstanding. Over the last 11 years we have added over 293 million new silver ounces to our mineral reserves, excluding acquisitions, which is more than the approximately 291.0 million ounces we mined during the same period.
In 2015, we spent $10.9 million on brownfield exploration and completed approximately 105 kilometres of diamond drilling. Through these exploration activities we discovered approximately 22.5 million contained silver ounces of new mineral reserves. At the same time, during 2015 we depleted 33.5 million ounces of contained silver through production activities, and we re-categorized 8.9 million ounces of contained silver from reserves to resources, primarily due to lower prices.
The La Colorada mine, which holds Pan American’s largest reserves, continued to return excellent exploration results, even though access to drilling the principal structures was limited due to mine expansion development activities. La Colorada had a net addition to reserves of 5.2 million ounces of silver and saw its mineral reserves reach a record 91 million ounces, a 5% increase year-on-year.
Although mineral reserves declined modestly in 2015, the average reserve silver grade increased by 5% from 2014 and the average reserve gold grade rose by 2%.
In 2016, we plan to invest approximately $7 million to complete approximately 91 kilometres of diamond drilling at our operating mines. In addition, we plan to spend approximately $2 million on selected exploration projects.
Follow the links below to see Pan American’s mineral reserves and resources by mine for the last three years.
Mineral reserves and resources are as defined by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum.