The Cerro Moro low sulfidation, silver-gold deposit is located within the Deseado Massif approximately 70 km southwest of the coastal port city of Puerto Deseado in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina. Cerro Moro contains a number of high grade epithermal gold and silver deposits, some of which will be mined via open pit and some via underground mining methods. The plant has the capacity to process 1,000 tpd and consists of a crushing, grinding and flotation circuit with a counter current decantation and a Merrill Crowe circuit included. Metallurgical recoveries are expected to average 95% for gold and 93% for silver.
The Probable Reserve estimate as of December 2017 was 1.95 Mt with an average grade of 648.3 g/t silver (20.8 oz/t) and 11.4 g/t gold (1.0 g/t AuEq cut-off). Yamana is targeting the addition of 1.0 million gold equivalent ounces to the mineral inventory over the coming years.
Yamana announced that the project had achieved commercial production at the end of the second quarter of 2018 and approximately 6,000,000 ounces of silver and 125,000 ounces of gold are expected to be produced during the 2019 year. Sandstorm will begin to purchase silver ounces from Cerro Moro in January 2019 and in the interim is receiving silver ounces from Yamana’s Minera Florida and Chapada mines, up to a maximum of 300,000 ounces of silver for the year.
Approximately 13,800 metres of drilling was completed at Cerro Moro during the second quarter of 2018. The goals of the 2018 exploration program are to expand Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources, add Inferred Mineral Resources and develop new drill targets that can be part of the 2019 exploration drill program. The majority of the infill drilling was completed on the Veronica vein, the Escondida Far East vein and Escondida Far West vein.
Yamana declared commercial production at Cerro Moro.