Relief Canyon gold project, US

22nd January 2021

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Relief Canyon gold project.

The project is located in Pershing County, Nevada, in the US.

Project Owner/s
Americas Gold and Silver Corporation.

Project Description
A prefeasibility study (PFS) completed on the project has proved positive and indicated the viability of contract mining and conveyor stacking to bring the project into production.

Pershing Gold has all the state and federal permits necessary to start the Phase 1 mining and heap-leach processing operations. The company is planning a two-phase permitting and development scenario for the project.

Phase 1, which has been approved, involves the repurposing of previously approved disturbance for expanded mining to a pit bottom elevation of 1 548 m and partial backfilling of the Phase 1 pit, about 6.1 m above the historical groundwater elevation to eliminate a pit lake. It also involves expanded exploration operations, full build-out of the heap-leach pad to accommodate the leaching of Phase 1 ore, and construction of a new waste-rock storage facility.

Phase 2 will include additional mine expansion and allow for mining further below the water table. 

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The PFS estimates a pretax net present value, at a 5% discount rate, of $144.6-million and an internal rate of return of 89%.

Capital Expenditure
Initial capital expenditure is estimated at $28-million to $30-million.

Planned Start/End Date
None stated.

Latest Developments
Americas Gold and Silver Corporation’s Relief Canyon mine will ramp up to full production in the second quarter of 2021, after having achieved commercial production earlier this month.

With full ramp-up of production now targeted for mid-May 2021, the company expects production for 2021 to be closer to 60 000 oz, CEO Darren Blasutti has said.

While the 90 000 oz/y production target is expected to fluctuate, owing to its being an estimation only, he adds that Americas Gold and Silver expects production to be higher from 2024 onward, based on fluctuations in grade.

“We are . . . conducting studies to optimise the mine plan to smooth out the production profile to reduce the volatility of year-over-year changes in ounce production.”

Commissioning of the Relief Canyon mine has been compounded by the onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

With company-imposed restrictions alongside those implemented by federal and local governments in Canada and the US, ramp-up was slower than expected, owing to the inability to get key management and consultants to site to troubleshoot common startup challenges.

Blasutti laments that as many of the challenges were nearing solution, the project’s large radial stacker, which is used to stack ore on the leach pad, had a structural failure, owing to poor structural steel used in the fabrication of the machine.

The failure of the stacker further delayed the commercial production announcement, as one of the key parameters is stacking a sufficient tonnage of ore daily, which Blasutti says “was not possible” with the smaller replacement stacker the mine has been operating with for most of the third and fourth quarters of 2020.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants

Contact Details for Project Information
Americas Gold and Silver Corporation, tel +1 416 848 9503 or email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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