Latin American Minerals Inc. (TSX VENTURE:LAT) announces that it has commissioned the construction of a bulk sampling gold extraction plant following an important property acquisition milestone at its Paso Yobai gold property in Paraguay.
The Corporation has completed the acquisition of a 70% interest in the mining license (the "License") held by Minera Guaira S.A. ("Minera Guaira") near Paso Yobai, Paraguay. The Paraguayan government has approved the transfer of this 70% interest of the License to the Corporation's Paraguayan wholly-owned subsidiary. The transfer document has been signed by both parties, and the Corporation has completed the final option payment to Minera Guaira of US$1.314 million. The parties now form a 70/30 joint venture with the Corporation as operator. The party that does not contribute its pro-rata share of costs will be diluted on a straight line basis. Should an interest be diluted to 15% or less, it will automatically be reduced and converted to a 1% interest (this interest is required under the terms of the License and is to be non-participating) and will receive a 3% net smelter returns royalty. The Corporation does not anticipate that Minera Guaira shall contribute to the joint venture expenses. Consequently, the Corporation can earn a 99% interest in the property by investing approximately US$5 million in project operations and development. The Corporation's treasury currently holds approximately US$12 million.
The property subject to the License is fully permitted for mining and covers the "Discovery Trend" where the Corporation has excavated 11 large mechanical trenches along a strike length of approximately 1 km and has executed 47 diamond drill holes totaling 6,600 metres, returning up to 26.6 gold over 6.5 metres. (See press release November 18, 2010, see also press releases February 17, 2010, November 5, 2009 and May 22, 2009) This work has confirmed the continuity of the gold mineralization to a depth of 100 metres, and remains open to depth.
The 2011 Paso Yobai exploration and development program will consist of an aggressive diamond drilling program to expand the existing mineralized envelope along the largely unexplored 1100 metre northwest extension of the Discovery Trend. The 2011 program will also include large scale trenching to provide feed material for the new sample processing plant. Sample production results will be used to calibrate drilling and trenching results to more confidently calculate a global resource for the large Paso Yobai mineralized area. The plant has been commissioned to Sepro Minerals Systems of Langley, British Columbia following a one year consultation and engineering program. The build time for the plant will be approximately 16 weeks during which time local civil engineering, infrastructure and environmental planning will be undertaken in the Paso Yobai area. Factoring in construction, delivery, installation, and testing, the Corporation anticipates that the plant will be operational by June 30, 2011. The Corporation has allocated a budget of US$1.6 million for capital costs, infrastructure costs and contingencies.
During 2010, the Corporation installed a precursor laboratory scale gravity separation plant at Paso Yobai consisting of a small rod mill batch feeding a small L40 Falcon gravity concentrator to confirm the proposed gold recovery methodology. The new "Modular Gold Recovery Plant" represents a prudent and effective scale-up to a much larger plant that is already in advanced design at Sepro Mineral Systems. The plant currently being constructed will initially process clay-rich weathered material that overlies the harder rock at below approximately 30 m depth. The process equipment includes a scrubber to liberate free gold from the clay ore, prescreening to remove oversize, grinding to liberate gold in the minus 10 mm fraction and gravity recovery using two Falcon SB 750 high speed centrifuges with Autopac for automated process control. The plant is designed to process hard rock at a rate of 5 tonnes per hour, assuming the installation of a suitable crusher plant ahead of the scrubber unit and considering the resulting additional grinding requirement. Consequently, the production rate for clay rich weathered material over a several year period is expected to be significantly higher than the rated 5 tonnes per hour and will be determined during sampling operations. Management, civil engineering, construction and operating personnel are in place in Asuncion, Paraguay's capital city, and 150 km away at the Paso Yobai project site.
Miles Rideout, the President and CEO of Latin American Minerals observed 'We now have 70% of the Minera Guaira concession on the large Discovery Trend and a formalized joint venture. We are sufficiently financed to explore Paso Yobai aggressively. Our objective during 2011 is to confirm this project as a very large mineralized gold system by aggressively drilling, trenching and establishing a reliable correlation between drill, trench sample results and actual gold production from our processing plant. It should be an exciting year!'
Source: Latin American Minerals Inc.