Golden Minerals Co. [AUMN-TSX, NYSE American] said Wednesday January 13 that it has commenced production at its Rodeo gold project in Durango State, Mexico, roughly two weeks ahead of scheduled and on budget.
The company said it transported the first loads of Rodeo’s gold-bearing material by road to its nearby Velardena oxide mill for processing last week. The mill has begun processing the material and anticipates a first pour of gold-silver doré bars within two weeks.
Golden Minerals advanced on the news, rising 1.07% or $0.01 to 94 cents. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $1.07 and 20 cents.
Rodeo is an open pit mine that is expected to generate US$25 million in free cash flow, money that can be used in part to finance the start of production at the larger silver/gold Velardena properties, which are also located in Durango State, Mexico.
The company says it plans to start production at Velardena, either in late 2021 or early 2022.
Initially, Rodeo material will be processed at a rate of 200 tonnes/day, running through the currently operational ball mill. Golden is in the process of installing an additional ball mill at Velardena, which is designed to increase processing throughput by increasing grinding capacity for the silicified material at Rodeo.
This second ball mill will operate in series after the primary ball mill, the company said. Golden estimates that the regrind mill will be complete and ready to run near the end of the first quarter of 2021, at which point daily mill throughput is expected to increase to 450 tonnes per day.
The dore produced at Rodeo is expected to be comprised of approximately 25% gold and 65-70% silver, and to be of a readily marketable and saleable quality.
Rodeo is expected to produce payable production of 43,700 ounces of silver and 13,200 ounces of gold this year, rising to 47,800 ounces of silver and 14,400 ounces of gold next year.