The Ixtaca precious metals deposit, in Mexico, has the potential to produce 203 000 oz/y of gold-equivalent in the first six years of operation, a feasibility study has confirmed.
The production is comprised of 108 500 oz/y of gold and 7.06-million ounces a year of silver, said project owner Almaden Minerals.
Over its 11-year mine life, the Ixtaca project will produce an average of 90 800 oz/y of gold and 6.14-million ounces a year of silver, at an operating cost of $716/oz of gold equivalent and an all-in sustaining cost of $850/oz of gold equivalent.
Initial production will ramp up to a mill feed rate of 7 650 t/d, followed by an expansion to 15 300 t/d from year five onwards.
The feasibility study is based on an openpit with a proven and probable reserve of 1.39-million ounces of gold and 85.2-million ounces of silver.
The project has an after-tax net present value, using a 5% discount, of $310-million and an internal rate of return of 42%. The initial capital of $174-million will be repaid in 1.9 years.
"We have advanced Ixtaca from our blind discovery in 2010 to its current position as an outstanding inventory of precious metals in a well-established mining jurisdiction with a very robust economic profile. Significant potential remains to increase resources through continued drilling of portions of the Ixtaca project that remain open as well as other targets on this largely unexplored property. In the meantime, we are looking forward to further developing this deposit through permitting and construction to demonstrate our commitment to modern, responsible mining and the potential for Ixtaca to be a strong economic engine for the company and the region in which it is located," said Almaden chairperson JD Poliquin.