Feasibility Study Supports Almaden’s Ixtaca Project

A feasibility study of Almaden Minerals’ Ixtaca gold-silver project in Puebla state, Mexico, supports a project producing an average of 108,500 ounces per year (oz/y) of gold and 7.06 million oz/y of silver (203,000 gold equivalent oz) over the first six years of operations. The study and resulting mine plan incorporate significant changes from an earlier prefeasibility study, including filtered dry-stack tailings, ore sorting, increased throughput, and an improved mine schedule. Collectively, the changes result in a reduced project footprint and improved economics.

Initial capital to develop the project is estimated at $174 million. Conventional open-pit mining will extract proven and probable reserves totaling 1.39 million oz of gold and 85.2 million oz of silver. Mine life is estimated at 11 years. The project is planned as a typical open-pit mining operation, using contractor mining. Initial production will ramp up to a mill feed rate of 7,650 mt/d, followed by an expansion to 15,300 mt/d from year five onward.

Life-of-mine all-in sustaining costs, including operating costs, sustaining capital, expansion capital, private and public royalties, refining, and transport, are estimated at $850/gold equivalent oz. Almaden has purchased the shutdown Rock Creek processing plant in western Alaska for dismantling and transport to the project site to process the Ixtaca ore.

“We have advanced Ixtaca from our blind discovery in 2010 to its current position as an outstanding inventory of precious metals in a well-established mining jurisdiction with a very robust economic profile,” Almaden Chairman J. D. Poliquin said. “Significant potential remains to increase resources through continued drilling of portions of the Ixtaca project that remain open, as well as other targets on this largely unexplored property.

“In the meantime, we are looking forward to further developing this deposit through permitting and construction to demonstrate our commitment to modern, responsible mining and the potential for Ixtaca to be a strong economic engine for the company and the region in which it is located.” Ixtaca is connected by 60 kilometers (km) of paved road to the industrial city of Apizaco, 120 km of paved road to the state capital of Puebla, and 170 km of paved road to Mexico City.

As featured in Womp 2019 Vol 02 - www.womp-int.com