On April 3, 2017, Almaden announced positive results of the independent PFS prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”) for the Ixtaca precious metals deposit, located in Puebla State, Mexico.
HIGHLIGHTS (all values shown are in $US; base case uses $1250/oz gold and $18/oz silver prices):
The Ixtaca gold-silver project in the PFS is planned as an open pit mining operation using contractor mining with initial production in 2019 at a mill feed rate of 7,650 tonnes per day during Years 1-4 and a ramp up to 15,300 tonnes per day from Year 5 onwards.
Estimated mining inventory is comprised of 326 million tonnes of rock and 65 million tonnes of mill feed with an average mill feed grade of 0.62 grams per tonne gold and 37.7 grams per tonne silver. A total of 1.04 million ounces of gold and 70.9 million ounces of silver would be produced over the 14 year mine life.
The ultimate open pit is separated into seven mining phases. The mine plan consists of one year of pre-stripping (prior to ore processing start-up), and fourteen years of open pit mining. Stockpile reclaim will be fed to the processing facility throughout the mine life. All open pit ore and reclaimed stockpile material will be fed to a primary crusher near the pit rim and transported to the processing facility on an overland conveyor.
The PFS incorporates the Rock Creek process plant which was optioned by Almaden in October, 2015. The plant will operate initially at an average throughput of 7,650 tpd and expanding to 15,300 tpd by year 5, producing gold and silver doré on site. The process plant includes the following key design criteria:
The following table summarizes the production and processing parameters:
Table 3 – Projected Production and Processing Summary
The total estimated initial capital cost for the Ixtaca gold-silver project is $116.9 million and sustaining capital (including expansion capital) is $119.7 million over the LOM. The estimated expansion capital of $72.1 million will be funded from cashflow. The estimated LOM operating costs are $22.5 per tonne mill feed.
The following tables summarize the cost components:
A summary of financial outcomes comparing base case metal prices to two alternative metal price situations is presented below. The PFS base case prices are derived from a combination of spot prices and current common peer usage, while the alternate cases consider the project’s economic outcomes at varying prices witnessed at some point over the three years prior to this study.
This PFS and our historic economic studies are available on SEDAR or can be viewed in Technical Reports +