Golden Minerals Company, a Delaware corporation based in Golden, Colorado, has recently reported commencement of mining activities at its Rodeo gold project, which is situated in Durango State, Mexico.
At the open-pit gold operation, blasting started last week. The first of the blast holes were drilled on the 1460 bench in an area that encompasses outcropping mill-grade gold mineralization and thin overburden material.
In the first pattern, a total of 48 holes were drilled and blasted. Over the next few weeks, Golden Minerals will constantly develop the existing and adjacent benches. The benches have been designed to have a height of 5 m each.
Golden Minerals expects that it can transport the preliminary loads of material to its Velardeña oxide mill (situated nearly 60 miles from Rodeo) for processing in January 2021, presuming the existing speed of work continues.
At the Velardeña oxide mill, the processing is anticipated to start as soon as adequate material consisting of more than 3.0 g per tonne gold has been hauled to the mill site to enable continuous operation.
The rate of initial processing will be about 200 tonnes per day (tpd) through the currently operational 10.5′ x 13′ ball mill. As per earlier communication, Golden Minerals is also setting up another 8′ x 22′ ball mill at Velardeña, designed exclusively to enhance throughput at the process plant by increasing the grinding capacity for the silicified material from Rodeo.
It can be used as a regrind ball mill and work in sequence after the primary ball mill. Golden Minerals expects installation of the new mill, which will be ready to operate close to the end of the first quarter in 2021, which is expected to increase daily mill throughput to around 450 tpd.
The cost of the second ball mill was predicted and included in the start-up capital estimate of $1.5 million that was communicated earlier. Golden Minerals anticipates the first pour of doré from Rodeo by the end of January 2021.
Warren Rehn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Minerals, commented recently on the progress at Rodeo:
Thanks to the efficiency of our team in Mexico and the experienced and capable contract mining group, we have started mining at Rodeo about two weeks ahead of schedule. The installation of the second ball mill at our processing plant is also ahead of schedule. We expect to fulfill our plan to be producing gold and silver doré bars for sale in January 2021.
Warren Rehn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Golden Minerals Company