The Sonora state site, which is fully funded for construction to be completed, now has leach solution ponds which are fully lined and ready for operations, and most of the civil works for the heap leach pad area have now been wrapped up. The installation is the pad liner is expected to be put into place this week.
The foundations for the plant are now complete at Santana, and the previously fabricated elements of the structures, including carbon columns, have been delivered. Final installation of those components is in progress.
Additionally, the operator said that the foundations are complete for the additional site infrastructure items, such as the warehouse and fuel storage areas. Santana's crushing system is on its way to the site from a staging facility in Obregon, Sonora.
CEO Darren Koningen called the advancements in the work "tremendous progress" and noted it has continued ever since it was permitted to restart mid-year 2020 after country-wide COVID-19 shutdowns.
"Major civil works are now drawing to an end and the focus has shifted towards the final placement of field connections required for fluid handling systems involved in the leach process," he said.
"The overall project site is quickly taking shape with the plant, remaining buildings and storage facilities all beginning their final construction and installation phases over the coming month. In parallel, our mining group continues to finalize start-up optimisation plans for the Nicho and Nicho Norte open pits."
Last February, the miner signed an equipment purchase agreement (EPA) with Mako Mining, Marlin Gold and Oro Gold for C$1.2 million (US$906,000) to obtain a complete crushing system to support future production and allow for cost-efficient operation.
The system's design included a design capacity of about 300 tonnes per hour (5,000-6,000 tonnes per day), taking run-of-mine material and crushing/screening via three-stage crushing to a fine size passing 3/8in.
It also includes equipment to agglomerate final ore before being sent by portable conveyor sections to a radial stacker.
Mineras Alamos recently said it is performing internal planning studies on the system to finalise decisions as to which items will be designated for future use at the Santana operation versus the company's recently acquired Cerro De Oro gold project in Zacatecas.