Santana Mine’s Ramp Up Shows Promising Progress
Minera Alamos reported the main milestones it achieved at its Santana gold mine in Sonora in 1Q22, including the results of the project’s start-up Phase 1. The company highlighted that since it implemented significant improvements in the project, it expects Phase 2 to go smoother.
Highlights included moving 14,000z of gold inventory to leach and producing 600,000 tons of mineralized material. Minera Alamos explained that in January, gold production was 890oz. In February, it reached 1,130 oz and in March 1,370oz. Additionally, the company highlighted that the new pad stacking implemented in March 2022 allowed the new ore to better transition toward active heap leaching.
In the press release, the company explained it decided to close operations to analyze the results obtained during Phase 1 of the project’s start-up at the end of 2021, allowing it to optimize Phase 2. Minera Alamos said that during this shutdown period it implemented several improvements to its project, including a new and higher crushing cut-off grade strategy. It also updated the mine planning for Nicho Norte to speed up the mine traffic flow and optimized its mine contractor's equipment, among others.
The company resumed all mining activities in January 2022 following these improvements, which has had a significant impact on mining and leaching activities. Minera Alamos said that the results show that Phase 2 will be superior to Phase 1.
“We are delighted to report a solid 1Q22 and the achievement of a major milestone in the evolution of Minera Alamos as the ramp-up has advanced to the point where gold production for the quarter is sufficient for the company to be cash-flow neutral at the corporate level. Costs are in line with our internal modeling and with the plans to open up the main Nicho pit this quarter. We should see a shift in mining rates that in due course will allow a growing operation to drive positive cash flows in the second half of the year,” said Darren Koningen, CEO, Alamos.
The company announced that development plans for 2Q22 include the preparation for the start of operations at the Nicho Main Zone, the completion of on-site laboratory facilities that will make testing faster and more economic, the conclusion of an inaugural resource report for Phase 1 of Santana's mining activities and planning of the Phase 4 drilling program, which will have a more regional focus.