MEXICO – GOLDCORP of Vancouver has decided to expand throughput at the Penasquito mill by 30% to 130,000 tonnes of ore daily and to accelerate the project schedule. The expanded project will produce an annual average 1.7 million oz AuEq. The new capital cost for the project, located in Zacatecas, is $1.49 billion, including the $450 million spent to date.
Besides the higher total capital cost, the Penasquito project has several other increases (earlier assumptions in parentheses). Mine life will be 19 years (17 years), daily mill throughput will be 130,000 tonnes (100,000 tonnes), and annual gold equivalent production will be 1.7 million oz (1.3 million oz). The cost of producing an ounce of gold will be $118 ($125), an ounce of silver $7.17 ($4.91), and a pound of zinc $0.54 ($0.44).
Goldcorp is planning to produce the first gold from the heap leaching of oxide ore in 2008 and commission the mill in 2009. Pre-stripping activities have begun at the Penasco pit. The Pabellon-Salaverna road, which provides new access for equipment and materials deliveries, was opened to the public in September. All towers and cable for the 400-kV power line have been installed, and the line is expected to be energized early in 2008. The tenth water well in the Cedros Basin was completed, contributing to a sufficient supply of water for the project. Construction of the crusher installations, oxide conveyor, leach pad, Merrill Crowe facility and mill foundation are on schedule.
The latest Penasquito maps and reports are available at www.Goldcorp.com.