Gold, silver begin to pour at Cerro Moro

Canadian Yamana Gold has marked the first pour of gold and silver dore at its Cerro Moro mine in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina
Gold, silver begin to pour at Cerro Moro Gold, silver begin to pour at Cerro Moro Gold, silver begin to pour at Cerro Moro Gold, silver begin to pour at Cerro Moro Gold, silver begin to pour at Cerro Moro

The Cerro Moro mine is a high-grade gold and silver operation sourcing ore from a combination of underground and open-pit mining

Staff reporter

The company, which first kicked off construction of the high-grade combination underground/open-pit project in 2015, met the milestone on May 15.

Ramp up of production at Cerro Moro is still ongoing, but is moving along on track, Yamana officials said. With construction at the site set to be complete this year, it is still targeting the June quarter of this year for commercial production.

Gold production, if all follows its operational outlook, should rise from a guidance of 85,000oz in 2018 to 125,000oz next year, and 130,000oz in 2020. Its 3.75-million-ounce guidance for silver this year should increase to 6 million ounces in 2019 and 8.3 million ounces in the year following.

"With the ramp up of production underway, the company is focusing on ensuring mill throughput rates reach nameplate capacity of 1,000t per day, and that grades and recoveries reconcile to plan," Yamana said, adding milling rates are on track and major equipment is performing to design.

"While the ramp up remains the primary focus, efforts are already shifting to optimising the operation and, in particular, ensuring that operating costs reach guidance levels."

Cerro Moro's stockpile, as of May 6, is at an estimated 42,300t (21.5g/t gold and 995g/t silver), which the company said will provide it mine plan flexibility this year. It confirmed that the stockpile goal of six weeks was reached early and grade exceeded plan.

Yamana's other active mines include Chapada, El Penon, Malartic, Gualcamayo, Bio Gold, Minera Florida and Jacobina.