Ixtaca Gold-Silver Deposit
Overview | Drilling | Resource | PEA | Metallurgy | Mill | Reports
OVERVIEW OF PRELIMINARY ECONOMIC ASSESSMENTS
Almaden has produced three Preliminary Economic Assessments (“PEAs”) on the Ixtaca deposit since April, 2014.
These PEAs reflect our advancing engineering studies on the project, the changing metals price environmental, and the opportunities we have capitalized on in these depressed metals markets, such as the option agreement on the Rock Creek Mill.
In April 2016, Almaden filed an amended PEA on the Ixtaca deposit, a brief overview of which is posted below, along with links to the news release and report.
2015 Updated Preliminary Economic Assessment
On December 9, 2015, Almaden announced results of an updated PEA which reflected the significant capital cost savings resulting from the optioned Rock Creek Mill, as well as an alternate mine plan. Total initial capital is now US$100 million, a significant reduction from the $496 million initial capital assumed in our Maiden PEA of April, 2014.
The PEA Update incorporates:
- The January 2014 Resource Estimate;
- The Rock Creek Mill with average throughput of 7,500 tonnes per day;
- A smaller, near surface and payback focussed pit;
- Mine production schedule which targets higher grades earlier;
- Optimised waste placement and tailings management facilities;
- A 2% NSR held by Almadex Minerals Limited (TSX-V: AMZ).
Key highlights of the PEA Update include (using US$1,150/oz Au and US$16/oz Ag):
- Initial Capital of $100.2 million;
- After-tax payback of initial capital in 2.6 years;
- Pre-tax NPV(5%) of $266 million and internal rate of return of 39%;
- After-tax (including new Mexican Mining Duties) NPV(5%) of $166 million and internal rate of return of 30%;
- 36 million tonnes of mill feed averaging 0.76 g/t gold and 47 g/t silver (average head grade of 1.42 g/t gold equivalent using a 72:1 silver to gold ratio);
- Total LOM production of 724,000 ounces of gold and 49 million ounces of silver (1.4 million gold equivalent ounces, or 101 million silver-equivalent ounces at a 72:1 silver to gold ratio);
- Operating cost $684 per gold equivalent ounce, or $9.50 per silver equivalent ounce;
- 97% of the PEA Update mill feed is in the Measured and Indicated categories of the resource model.
Our historic PEAs are available on SEDAR or can be view in Technical Reports +
It should be noted that this PEA is preliminary in nature as it includes inferred mineral resources which are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty that the PEA forecasts will be realized or that any of the resources will ever be upgraded to reserves. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.