Canadian precious metals miner Yamana Gold has declared commercial production at its Cerro Moro gold and silver mine in Santa Cruz, Argentina.
The mine poured its first gold and silver doré in May and subsequently ramped up to commercial production. Cerro Moro is expected to produce 85 000 oz of gold and 3.75-million ounces of silver this year, rising to 125 000 oz of gold and six-million ounces of silver in 2019, and reaching 130 000 oz of gold and seven-million ounces of silver a year by 2020.
With the declaration of commercial production, the focus is now on optimising the operation and ensuring operating costs reach guidance levels, Yamana said in a media release.
The company’s all-in sustaining cost guidance for 2018 is $650/oz of gold and $9.15/oz of silver.
“Cerro Moro is expected to generate a disproportionate amount of cash flow and free cash flow relative to the comparatively small-scale nature of the operation. With the planned reduction in expansionary capital spending and the anticipated strong margin to metal prices at Cerro Moro, per prior guidance the step change in cash flow we have planned is expected to begin in the second half of 2018 and be more pronounced beginning in 2019,” comments Yamana senior VP for finance and CFO, Jason LeBlanc.
The property contains a number of high-grade epithermal gold and silver veins, which will be mined by a combination of openpit and underground mining. The miner also has a strategic target of adding one-million gold-equivalent ounces to the mineral inventory.