We initiated exploration at El Quevar during 2004. Our work has confirmed that the Yaxtché Zone, one of the potential zones of mineralization discovered at El Quevar, has a total strike length that measures more than 2.4 kilometers and remains open laterally and up and down dip. In August 2010, Micon International Limited used data from 168 drill holes at the Yaxtché deposit in its Canadian National Instrument 43-101-compliant resource estimate. That estimate reported 0.9 million tonnes of ore containing 8.9 million ounces of silver in the indicated category at a grade of 310 grams per tonne, and 4.8 million tonnes of ore containing 51.5 million ounces of silver in the inferred category at a grade of 336 grams per tonne.
In April 2011, we announced the discovery of more than 40 mineralized structures believed to be tension faults. Although they are narrow, generally less than a quarter of a meter in width, indications from x-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology show that the structures tend to be of substantial grade, typically in excess of one kilogram per tonne silver. These structures were not anticipated in the initial modeling of the El Quevar deposit, in which mineral concentrations were modeled to follow the alteration envelope, generally trending N60W. The company is presently conducting further work to assess the impact that these structures may have on the mining plan and global El Quevar resource.
We have constructed a camp at the project site that accommodates up to 140 personnel. A production-sized portal and decline have been constructed and over 400 meters of underground development completed. Over 250 meters of drifting along strike in the central Yaxtché have also been completed. Further underground exploration and development are in progress.
Golden Minerals has obtained all permits required to conduct exploration activities. We have also submitted and received government approval of an environmental impact statement for the exploration program and have completed baseline studies. Additional permits would be required in order to advance development of the El Quevar property beyond the exploration stage. We currently expect we would be able to obtain the necessary permits. An Environmental Impact Assessment to support development of El Quevar is currently underway.