Blasting at the open-pit gold operation began last week
Golden Minerals Company (NYSE American and TSX: AUMN) (“Golden Minerals”, “Golden” or “the Company”) today announced it has begun mining activities at its Rodeo gold project located in Durango State, Mexico.
Blasting at the open-pit gold operation began last week. Initial blastholes were drilled on the 1460 bench in an area that includes outcropping mill-grade gold mineralization and thin overburden material. 48 holes were drilled and blasted in the first pattern. During the next few weeks, the Company will continue to develop the current and adjacent benches. The benches are designed to be five meters each in height. The Company anticipates being able to transport the first loads of material to its Velardeña oxide mill (located around 60 miles from Rodeo) for processing in January 2021 assuming the current pace of work continues.
Processing at the Velardeña oxide mill is expected to begin as soon as sufficient material containing greater than 3.0 grams per tonne gold has been hauled to the mill site to allow for continuous operation. Initial processing will be at a rate of about 200 tonnes per day (“tpd”) through the currently operational 10.5’ by 13’ ball mill. As previously communicated, the Company is also installing an additional 8’ by 22’ ball mill at Velardeña that is specifically designed to increase throughput at the process plant by increasing grinding capacity for the silicified material from Rodeo. It will serve as a regrind ball mill and operate in series after the primary ball mill. The Company anticipates the new mill will be installed and ready to run near the end of the first quarter, which should increase daily mill throughput to about 450 tpd. The cost of the second ball mill was anticipated and included in the start-up capital estimate of $1.5 million that has been previously communicated. The Company expects a first pour of doré from Rodeo toward the end of January 2021.
Golden Minerals President and Chief Executive Officer, Warren Rehn, commented today on the progress at Rodeo, “Thanks to the efficiency of our team in Mexico and the experienced and capable contract mining group, we have started mining at Rodeo about two weeks ahead of schedule. The installation of the second ball mill at our processing plant is also ahead of schedule. We expect to fulfill our plan to be producing gold and silver doré bars for sale in January 2021.”
Source: Company Press Release