Andean Precious Metals gold mine returns to full production

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Andean Precious Metals Corp. [APM-TSXV, ANPMF-OTCQB] said its Golden Queen Mining LLC unit has returned to full production following fire in December, 2023. Golden Queen operates the Soledad Mountain mine and heap leach operation in Kern County, Southern California.

Since its commercial startup in mid-2016, Soledad Mountain has produced more than 340,000 ounces of gold and 3.5 million ounces of silver. Andean acquired Golden Queen in November, 2023.

“The second crusher circuit, which was damaged in the fire, is now repaired and fully operational,’’ the company said in a press release.

“I’d like to thank our team and our trusted suppliers and contractors for their tireless efforts in completing equipment repairs in a timely and efficient manner,’’ said Andean Precious Metals Executive Chair Alberto Morales. “While the extent of the structural damage was not as serious as first anticipated, their efforts helped us return to regular operations and full production weeks earlier than expected,’’ he said.

The fire, which was reported on December 13, 2023, occurred within the secondary crusher circuit perimeter and more specifically in the screen deck area. The fire was mostly contained and quickly brought under control

As previously announced, the company expects lower production in the first quarter of 2024 due to the fire; however, Golden Queen’s full year 2024 production is not anticipated to be materially affected. The company’s 2024 guidance will be outlined at the end of March, 2024, with the release of its 2023 financial and operating results.

The announcement came after the close of trading on January 30, 2024, when Andean shares fell 18.3% or 17 cents to 76 cents. The shares trade in a 52-week range of $1.07 and 53 cents.

Andean is a growth-oriented silver producer. In addition to Soledad Mountain, it operates the only commercial silver oxide plant in Bolivia. The company produced 3.46 million ounces of silver in equivalent ounces in the first nine months of 2023 from its own mineral claims, contracts with the state mining company of Bolivia and from a high margin third-party sourcing business.

All processing occurs at the San Bartolome carbon in leach oxide processing plant located beside the historic Cerro Rico Silver Mine. Cerro Rico is known as one of the world’s largest silver deposits and has been mined since the late 1500s for precious and base metals.

The company is also exploring its wholly-owned San Pablo and Rio Blanco gold projects and seeking other accretive opportunities in Bolivia and Latin America.

Last year, the company launched a 15,000-metre phase two drilling program at its San Pablo porphyry target in Bolivia.

The San Pablo Project covers 650 hectares and is located in the Province of Antonio Quijarro, Department of Potosi. San Pablo is located in the southern part of the prolific Bolivian tin-silver and polymetallic belt that hosts several of Bolivia’s largest deposits, including the former Kori Kollo gold mine (Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM-NYSE)) which produced more than 4.0 million ounces, and the Cerro Rico of Potosi, which produced up to 2.0 billion ounces of silver as well as a significant amount of tin.

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