The Don Nicolás project is located in Santa Cruz, Argentina within the Deseado Massif geological setting. The gold and silver at Don Nicolás occurs as low sulphidation, epithermal mineralization within subvertically oriented quartz-breccia veins.
A Feasibility Study was completed in 2012 by Mineral IRL Limited evaluating an open pit mine with ore production from two districts, Martinetas and La Paloma, located approximately 50 kilometres apart. A private Argentinian company Compañía Inversora en Minas (CIMINAS) acquired the project from Mineral IRL in 2014 and began developing the mine. CIMINAS has constructed a processing facility with a two-stage crushing circuit and carbon-in leach treatment plant with capacity to process 1,000 tpd. The first gold doré bar was poured from the Martinetas district wat Don Nicolás in September 2017 and CIMINAS is expecting to produce approximately 35,000 ounces per year over 8 years with ore sourced from the Martinetas and La Paloma deposits. Metallurgical recoveries are expected to average 90%.
Upside opportunities for the project include underground development of the deeper high-grade shoots at Sulfuro on the La Paloma property, and heap leach recovery of lower-grade material around the Martinetas area where a portion of the mineral resource is based.
Sandstorm’s royalty is capped at $2 million and covers a portion of the Don Nicolás property claims. Sandstorm acquired the royalty as part of its acquisition of Premier Royalty Inc. in 2013.
The mill is reportedly operating at 900 tpd from production at Martinetas. Material from La Paloma will begin being mined in Q1 2018 and will increase production to 1,000 tpd.
The Don Nicolás asset was sold by Mineral IRL Limited to private Argentinian company, CIMINAS.