Yamana Gold Inc., Glencore International AG, and Goldcorp Inc. take pleasure in announcing that they have entered into an integration agreement (the “Agreement”) following which the Agua Rica project would be developed and operated using the present infrastructure and facilities of Minera Alumbrera Limited in the Catamarca Province of Argentina.
According to the Parties, the integration of the Agua Rica project and the Alumbrera mine (the “Integrated Project”) has a considerable advantage since the properties are nearer to each other and have the potential to achieve notable synergies by taking complete advantage of the present infrastructure affiliated with the Alumbrera mine for the operation and development of Agua Rica. Agua Rica has a large-scale, long-life copper mineral resource with related silver, gold, and molybdenum, whereas the Alumbrera infrastructure is of substantial scale and configuration that is perfectly suited for the integration plan.
Initial studies revealed the potential for a mine life of more than 25 years at an average yearly production of about 236,000 tons (520 million pounds) of copper-equivalent metal, which includes the contributions of molybdenum, gold, and silver, for the first decade of operation. This is based on the Agua Rica mineral reserve, predicted to contain probable and proven mineral reserves of about 4.5 million tons (10 billion pounds) of copper and 6.5 million ounces of gold contained in about 910 million tons of ore.
The Agreement is a stand for a further important step toward the optimization of Agua Rica. The Alumbrera infrastructure, as well as the present infrastructure for concentrate logistics that is situated in northern Argentina between the port and the mine site, offers a remarkable opportunity to improve project economics and reduce environmental footprint and the project difficulty.
The Parties have set up a Technical Committee to administer the evaluation and review of the Integrated Project. A pre-feasibility study for the Integrated Project is anticipated to be completed in 2019, and a complete feasibility study with updated mineral reserve, project cost estimates, and production will be concluded by 2020. This will offer a framework for the proposal of a new Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to the officials of the Catamarca Province and for the constant bond with communities and local stakeholders.
To support a way forward for the development and evaluation of the Integrated Project, the Parties have been working in collaboration with the important government stakeholders. An agreement has been reached with the Catamarca state mining company, Catamarca Minera y Energética Sociedad del Estado (CAMYEN), with respect to CAMYEN’s involvement in the Integrated Project. The Catamarca Province has approved a shutdown plan for the ongoing reclamation of the Alumbrera mine that synchronizes with the development of the Integrated Project and is financially supported with the reserve fund of Alumbrera for reclamation activities.
Yacimientos Mineros de Agua de Dionisio (YMAD) has shown its support for using the Alumbrera infrastructure for the Integrated Project. At last, the National Government has executed a process that was awaited until the 2003 reform of the Argentine Mining Investments Law, which makes the framework for the return of amounts paid in excess of a mining project’s overall tax burden, at a federal level. This supports the economic stability of the mining projects in the country, particularly the Integrated Project, as it progresses.