Orla Mining’s Camino Rojo Project Pours First Gold BarsBy Paloma Duran | Mon, 12/20/2021 - 16:45
Orla Mining’s Camino Rojo oxide mine, Zacatecas, poured its first three gold bars on Dec. 13, 2021. The mine expects to begin commercial production in 1Q2022, announced the company, as it continues to advance other areas, such as the Camino Rojo Sulphide Project.
“Orla has achieved first gold pour at Camino Rojo, an important milestone in the rapid evolution of our company. This accomplishment is the result of the hard work and diligence of the entire team and we are incredibly proud,” said Jason Simpson, President and CEO, Orla Mining. The first gold pour from Camino Rojo occurred on schedule, said the company, and more pours are expected before the end of 2021. Camino Rojo’s first three bars had a total weight of 1,278oz, containing approximately 770oz of gold and 510oz of silver.
Additionally, the company announced it will continue to accelerate operational and production commissioning throughout the rest of 2021 and early 2022. So far, the mining and processing of tons and grades have met Orla Mining’s expectations and, as the start of commercial production approaches, it will provide operational guidance.
Sergio Sáenz, General Manager, Minera Camino Rojo, told MBN that the company's average annual production over the life of the mine will be 94,000oz of gold and 597,000oz of silver over 10.4 years, which is more than the 6.8-year life the mine had forecasted in a previous scenario. The additional life was added thanks to an agreement with Fresnillo that gave Orla access to its property, said Sáenz. “This was a long and slow process, but we were able to reach an agreement that benefited both companies. The additional life added to the current oxide mining plan gives us additional time to conduct the studies necessary to explore and test options to extract the large sulfide mineral resource beneath our current oxide pit footprint, which is home to 7.3Moz of gold in indicated resource categories and measures."
In November, Orla Mining announced that the construction of its Camino Rojo project was on schedule and 96 percent complete. Its main achievements include the mechanical completion of the crushing and transport systems, the start of the wet start-up with the introduction of ore into the crushing circuit and the completion of other facilities.
Meanwhile, Orla Mining is evaluating multiple development scenarios for its Camino Rojo Sulphide Project. The company's three main options are an underground mining operation, an open pit with processing at a sulphide facility to be built at Camino Rojo and an open pit mine with processing at Newmont's Peñasquito plant. The company said that based on previous drilling and testing, all options are still on the table.