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Zgounder (Ag)

About Zgounder

The Zgounder silver deposit is located in the central Anti-Atlas on the NW flank of the Siroua massif. The Zgounder deposit is Late Neoproterozoic in age and is mainly composed of a volcano sedimentary formation attributed to the Precambrian II (PII). The formation is intruded to the West by the Askaoun granodioritic massif (later Precambrian II-III). The geology of Zgounder is divided into three formations (Demange, 1997), two with a major clastic component intercalated with volcanics (identified as the ‘blue’ and ‘brown’ formations) overlain by an acid ignimbritic volcanic complex (the ‘black formation’).

Under care and maintenance since 1990, Zgounder has been Morocco’s second most important silver mine after Imiter, and shares several of its geological, structural and age characteristics. Zones north and east of the previous underground workings promise substantial new reserves that could be exploited by open pit mining.

Highlights of the Zgounder Silver Mine 2018 PEA Study

Technical report

• A project life of 10 years with the current resources up to 2027;
• ZMSM Internal Rate of Return of 134% pre-tax and 118% after tax;
• ZMSM pre-tax Net Present Value of US$215.1M (discounted at 6.5%) at variable silver price from US$17.50 to US$21.50 per ounce with yearly average of US$20.50 per ounce;
• ZMSM after-tax Net Present Value of US$200.2M (discounted at 6.5%) at variable silver price from USD$17.50 to USD21.5 USD per ounce with average of US$20.5 per ounce;
• The extraction of 3.974Mt at 292 g/t Ag for silver production of 33.682M ounces;
• Milling to increase to 500 tpd in 2018 then up to 2020 followed by a 2000 tpd in 2021;
• Production increase to 1.354M ounces per year up to 4.762M ounces of silver per year;
• Total operating cost of US $63.64 per tonne (averaged over the expected mine’s life);
• Capex and sustaining capital requirements of US $46.9M.



Note to Potential Investors: 43-101

The PEA is preliminary in nature, and includes Inferred Mineral Resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. Furthermore, there is no certainty that the PEA results will be realized.

Preliminary Economic Assessment – Technical Report March 16th, 2018
Preliminary Economic Assessment (March 2014)
Pre-Feasibility Study (May 2014)


The mine is approximately 260 kilometres east of the major port city of Agadir (pop. 575,320), within the Proterozoic Siroua Massif of the Anti-Atlas Range.


The Zgounder mine is accessible from Agadir by well maintained paved highways (N10 and P1706) running east for 205 kilometres to Taliouine in the Taroudant province. The majority of the final 61 kilometres to the mine are traveled on a normally well paved road to the village of Askaoun. The last five-kilometre stretch to the mine is accessible via a dirt road which could be easily be upgraded.

Surface area

The exploitation licence covers 16 km².


zgounder production


The silver mineralization occurs in three, often superposed, genotypes: 1) Mm-thick beds of well-crystallized, finely disseminated pyrite associated with quartz and other sulphides found in chloritized and tuffaceous pelitic layers of the Brown Formation with low silver grades (5 to 25 g/t Ag) (Figure 5), 2) Native silver veinlets associated with proustite (Ag₃AsS₃), argentite (Ag₂S) and filling micro-fractures discordant with the stratitification and suggesting a stockwork-type mineralization and 3), Native silver dissemination with sulphide veinlets (sphalerite, galena, argentite and cinabar) in brecciated sandstone-shale layers and spotted by nodules and flakes of chlorite and/or carbonate microlithes. The paragenetic sequence shows two successive stages: an early Fe-As stage (silver-bearing pyrite and arsenopyrite), followed by an Ag-bearing polymetallic (Zn, Pb, Cu, Hg; sphalerite and chalcopyrite) stage. Native silver is by far the most common silver mineral and forms an amalgam with Hg. Tension gashes originally trapped the silver mineralization within a NNE-oriented shear zone affecting the Brown Formation shale-sandstone beds containing anomalous Ag values. These were then transposed by EW-oriented structures forming isolated Ag-mineralized lenses and fissures.

mineralization zgounder



Maya Gold and Silver start an exploration program (diamond drilling from the surface) at the western sector;

Maya start also the reverse circulation drilling for the preparation of the open pit resources;

The realisation of the ramp connecting the level 2000m to level 1975m;

Launch of various works for the project of 2000 tpd;

Optimization works Flotation-Cyanidation treatment plants.


Maya Gold & Silver Reports Positive NI 43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment Results at the Zgounder Silver Mine in Morocco Project Indicates After-tax IRR of 118% with an NPV6.5% of US $200.2 Million;




Maya Gold & Silver Has Extended a New Zone to the East by Diamond Drill Hole Supported by Independent Assay of 337 g/t Ag at Zgounder Silver Mine.

Maya Gold & Silver intersected 3809 g/t Ag over 18 meters at its Zgounder Silver Mine.

Zgounder Silver Mine Produces Monthly Record of 53,376 ounces Ag in January 2017.

Maya Extends Corps D To The 1,655mZ Elevation at Zgounder Silver Mine.

Maya Gold & Silver Presents its Strategic Development Plan and Reports New Surface Drilling Campaign Has Commenced at Zgounder Silver Mine.

Maya Gold & Silver intersect 481 g/t Ag over 8m in surface trench to the East at Zgounder Silver Mine.


Zgounder Silver Mine Produces Monthly Record 47,676 ounces Ag

On March 24, 2016, the Corporation closed a $3.65 million non-brokered private placement of units and drew down an initial US$4.5 million of the available loan facility of US$6 million obtained from EBRD.

The Zgounder Silver Mine produced 4347kg of silver (139,750 ounces) during the first three months of 2016

Pilot testing using a flotation process generates a total silver recovery of 84%; Maya has launched a project to improve the mill efficiency by the introduction of flotation cells


Aya Gold & Silver to Start Drilling at Zgounder.
As previously announced on March 23, 2015, the Corporation closed a non-brokered private placement (the “Private Placement”) of $1,200,000 for the sole and exclusive purpose of completing a minimum 13-hole drilling program comprising a minimum of 4300 meters at its Zgounder Silver Mine in Morocco. The program has now been extended to 6000 meters.

Aya Provides Drill Results at Zgounder: Drilling Intersections Include 1098g/t Ag Over 10-meters, 348g/t Ag Over 19-meters & 431g/t Ag Over 20-meters



Complete rehabilitation of mine site and mill at Zgounder;

Completion of the Environmental Impact Study;

Creation of Zgounder Millennium Silver Mining (85% Maya / 15% ONHYM);

Closing of 12-month loan agreement of US$3.5M;

Initial NI43-101 compliant silver resources estimate for Zgounder silver mine;

Zgounder Millennium Silver Mining obtained cyanide permitting (March 2014);

Filing of NI43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment on SEDAR (March 2014);

Closing of a convertible debentures financing for $10 M (April 2014);

Filing of NI43-101 Pre-Feasibility Study on SEDAR (May 2014);


The convention for Zgounder silver deposit was signed on January 6th.


In April, participation in the international tender organized by L’Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) for the total or partial acquisition of the Zgounder mine.
In September, the Corporation and the ONHYM agreed to negotiate a convention in order for Maya to acquire 85% of the Zgounder Silver Deposit.


A pre-feasibility study put out by MANAGEM evaluated the operational investment costs as well as the infrastructure and milling rehabilitation costs related to reopening the Zgounder mine.


The Compagnie Minière de Touissit carried out extensive surface and underground work. 6,228 m of underground and surface drilling were directed to find new silver-rich zones, adding 1128 of new drifts, galleries and ore shoots and performing 14,636 m of underground percussion drill holes. The work enabled the definition of new historical reserves in the southern (357,400 t @ 468.3 g/t Ag) and northern (449,625 t @ 375.9 g/t Ag) sectors of the Zgounder mine.


The BRPM undertook an exploration campaign consisting of mapping and sampling the mineralized structures followed by a drilling program totaling 1800 m of core. New silver mineralized zones were defined at the base of the sandstone-shale beds of the Brown Formation. ACA Howe International undertook the sampling of surface rocks and tailings. ACA Howe International verified the available core left after the 1997 campaign and collected rock samples from key surface areas of the mine. ACA Howe estimated that there was at least 500,000 t present in the recent tailings. The upper tailings averaged 250 g/t Ag (9 m-thick) and the lower tailings (12 m-thick) 109 g/t Au.


The BRPM pursued underground exploration and sunk 10 drill holes to find the western continuation of the mineralization.


The Société Minière de Sidi Lahcen (SOMIL) operated an underground mine and a plant with an ore throughput capacity of approximately 75-80,000 t/yr. 500,000 t of ore grading 330g/t Ag were treated during this period using a cut off grade of 125 g/t. SOMIL undertook 15,383 metres of drilling, 9,220 metres of underground drifts and adits, as well as 1,200 m of raises and ore passes


The BRPM/PNUD estimated the residues of ancient workings to contain 66,000 t @ 325g/t Ag

900 – 1200

Zgounder was first explored and exploited for silver principally in shallow oxidized zones