Project Fenix will extend the life of the El Gallo silver-gold complex by 12 years. (Image: McEwen Mining)
MEXICO – Toronto-based McEwen Mining has filed a preliminary economic assessment for project Fenix at its El Gallo complex in Sinaloa state. The study says the annual production rate can be boosted to 47,000 oz. of gold equivalent with a capital investment of $71 million (all amounts are U.S. dollars). Life of the project will be 12 years, rather than the previously announced 10 years.
The capex is divided into two phases, the first of which will be US$41 million and the second of which will be $30 million. After taxes the internal rate of return will be 33% and the net present value will be $75 million. Payback will be achieved in 3.9 years.
Phase one includes reprocessing of material on the gold heap leach pad at the existing El Gallo mine. A conventional ball mill and a hybrid carbon-in-leach circuit are planned. They will be followed by standard elution, electrowinning and smelting to produce a gold doré product. Construction could begin in 2019 with phase two work beginning two years later.
Phase two includes the processing of open pit gold-silver ore from several deposits including El Gallo Silver, Palmarito, El Encuentro and Carrisalejo. Three-stage crushing ahead of conventional flotation technology followed by intensive leaching and Merrill-Crowe precipitation to recover gold and silver is planned. Tailings are to be stored in the mined out El Gallo pit.
All-in sustaining costs per ounce of gold equivalent will be $704 during phase one and $877 during phase two. In 2017 the El Gallo complex produced 46,446 oz. of gold and 18,586 oz. of silver.
Additional details are available in the news release of July 9, 2018, posted at www.McEwenMining.com.