A dynamite blast Wednesday marked the official re-opening of the Shafter silver mine, which will create more than 100 jobs and wake up a Presidio County community long considered a ghost town.
The blast kicked off a celebration attended by about 150 area residents, elected officials and employees of the Rio Grande Mining Company, a subsidiary of Aurcana Corp. The Canadian company, which also operates a large silver mine in Mexico, estimates the Shafter mine holds 25 million ounces of silver.
Lenic Rodriguez, president of Aurcana, estimated silver produced by the mine will increase the United States’ annual silver output by 10 percent. He said the new Shafter mine would use state-of-the-art mining and safety technology and be in full operation in May 2012. The mine is 40 miles south of Marfa.
Marfa Public Radio interviewed mine officials at the celebration for a future Talk at 10 program on 93.5 FM.