CALIFORNIA – Golden Queen Mining of Vancouver has announced the start of mill commissioning at the Soledad Mountain gold project. The project, located 8 km south of Mojave in Kern County, is a 50:50 joint venture between Golden Queen and Gauss LLC.
Construction at Soledad Mountain is 95% complete, and the mine has stockpiled sufficient ore for the commissioning phase. The mill is 98% complete, and commissioning of the crushing and screening plant began in November. Work progressed to the conveying-stacking system in early December. The Merrill-Crowe circuit is expected to be started in mid-January, followed immediately by the leaching circuit. The first gold pour is expected in early February 2016.
Mining activity in the Mojave district near Soledad Mountain was first noted in 1894, but it wasn’t until 1901 that the first mill with 20 stamps and a cyanide plant was built at the Exposed Treasure mine. The area has been home to a number of gold mines that operated at various times early in the 1900s, the 1930s and 1940s.
Today, Golden Queen counts proven and probable reserves of 46.3 million tonnes grading 0.661 g/t Au and 11.092 g/t Ag and containing 983,600 oz of gold and 16.5 million oz of silver. The reserves are contained within measured and indicated resources of 83.5 million tonnes grading 0.575 g/t Au and 9.53 g/t Ag. The inferred resource is 21.4 million tonnes at 0.343 g/t Au and 7.2 g/t Ag.
A gallery of construction photos is posted on the Golden Queen website.