Three high-quality development assets in Mexico with two at permitting stage
Further exploration potential
Strong management with operational expertise in heap leach mining and proven mine builders
Cornerstone partner in Osisko Gold Royalties
What does Minera Alamos do?
The firm is advancing three development projects in Mexico - Santana is located in Sonora state, while the La Fortuna and Guadalupe De Los Reyes properties are in Durango.
Santana is the group's "near term production opportunity" and has seen a successful bulk test mining program. The firm is now awaiting final permit approval for commercial operation at the open-pit heap leach project.
Minera has also now completed plans for second phase exploration at Santana, which includes over 10,000 m (meters) of drilling and is expected to run throughout the year, to include expansion drilling at the Nicho and Nicho Norte deposits and exploration drilling at a number of high priority targets.
The company expects to make a construction decision at Santana this year.
At La Fortuna, a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) released last August demonstrated robust project economics including an after-tax internal rate-of-return of 93% and an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $440 per ounce.
The net present value of the starter pit, with a discount of 7.5%, was put at US$69.8M (starter pit). The report envisages a simple open-pit mine with initial 40-50,000 ounce annual production and a low CAPEX start-up.
The project already has 300,000 ounces of resource defined. A 2,000 tpd (tonnes per day) mill was acquired in 2017 and a 1,100 tpd starter operation is contemplated, which could be expanded to 2,000 tpd.
Minera has received notification confirming the completion of the technical review phase for the change of land use to construct mining facilities at the site, allowing initial groundworks to begin, and is now waiting for the next stage of the permit process.
At Guadalupe, Minera plans a heap leach project like Santana and plans for a PEA, permit submission in the first half of 2019. The firm has said that the project could start generating at around the 40,000 ounces a year mark.
The site is in a significant regional gold system with estimated historical production of 500 to 600 ,000 ounces gold and more than 40 million ounces of silver.
Minera plans to develop Santana first, followed by La Fortuna and then Guadalupe De Los Reyes, with cashflow from Santana used to advance the other two.
The Minera Alamos team, headed up by chief executive Darren Koningen and president Doug Ramshaw, is trying to replicate the success of junior Castle Gold, which advanced its El Castillo mine in Durango state from generating around 30,000 ounces a year to 75,000 ounces of the yellow metal, before the group was sold nine years ago for C$130mln (and El Castillo is now generating around 100,000 oz annually).
Koningen was vice president of operations at Castle Gold and worked alongside Chester Miller, a huge figure in mining and the pioneer of heap leaching, to advance El Castillo.
The union added Corex's Santana gold project to Minera's La Fortuna project, the Guadelupe De Los Reyes project and the Los Verdes property (which, significantly lies directly north of Santana and thus consolidates the land position).
Mexico is mining friendly
Minera Alamos understands the jurisdiction. According to an annual survey of mining companies in 2017, ranked on a country versus country basis against the rest of Central and Latin America, Mexico came third for investment attractiveness.
It is said to have a transparent and structured permitting process, typically between six and 12 months from submission.
Santana drilling results and permit news
A construction decision
More on permitting at La Fortuna
Exploration to expand current resource at Guadalupe de Los Reyes
What the president said:
In November last year Doug Ramshaw said the goals going into 2019 was to "continue to de-risk these projects" and in doing so de-risk the company for the shareholders.