Red-Hot Resources

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Mine Exploring -- Do You See What I Guanacevi?

Sunday, we flew across the Sierra Madres to Guanacevi, where Endeavour Silver has a mine project. I've been to Guanacevi before (the stock is in our Red-Hot Canadian Small-Caps portfolio).
While there have been many changes, one thing that hasn't changed is Guanacevi International Airport. We still land in a horse pasture. Last time, we had to chase the horses out of the way to take off, but this time the local equine population was more under control (and probably snickering at the foolish gringos under their breath).

Then we hop in trucks and drive to a spot where we can look out over the town.
Those lonely chimneys you see are chimneys left over from Cornish tin miners. This area has been mined by a lot of people -- the natives, the Spanish, the cornish, now the Canadians -- and there is STILL plenty left.

From this same vantage point, you can also see Endeavour Silver's mill and plant ...

We'll get there eventually, but first, it's time to suit up and head into the mines.And yes, it was pitch dark except for our head lamps. This mine is working so hard that we took a tour of an area that had been blasted out fresh just the day before. Not much to see there. But I thought this was cool ...

It's an ore chute. This is a hole in the "floor." Mine from one level is scooped up and dumped down the hole, to a waiting truck below. It's just an example that you have to watch your step or risk a potentially crippling fall.

But ahh, we're here to have fun. Here, Dan Heard of Williams Financial Group hops behind the wheel of one of the mining tractors.
Don't worry -- the people running the mine aren't dummies. They wouldn't let us drive these massively horsepowered vehicles through tunnels of pitch darkness. At Guanacevi it's safety first.

And here, Godfrey Walton, patient as usual, explains what the heck we're seeing deep inside the Porvenir Mine at the Guanacevi project.

Finally, it came time to leave. We still had to tour the plant, and if we ran any later than 3:00, the winds would shift and we wouldn't be able to take off, so we'd be grounded overnight. Time to go!

That's Bob Moriarty of on the left, Jeff Clark of Casey Research in the center and me on the right. We're all squinting like Morlocks because we just came up from the mine.

As we stood there, a giant truck went by us, carrying ore from the mine to the plant.
The truck takes the ore to the plant, where the ore is processed and finally put in a furnace so it can be melted into bars ...And here is what the silver looks like when it is poured into a dore bar. A dore bar is a crude silver bar that contains some gold ...

And I get to hoist the silver bar. It weighs a LOT. Some of the people on the tour actually asked our guide if they could take the bar with them. He replied: "Oh, sure. Run as fast as you can. We'll see how far you get before the guard shoots you."

I saw the guard -- he has a black hard hat to match his black uniform and a Big Frakking Gun. No fooling around for that guy.

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