Torex Gold (TSX: TXG) has received approval to start building a South Portal for a second access point to the Media Luna deposit at its producing Morelos property; the permit amendment is required to continue the early works program for Media Luna. A feasibility study on a development of Media Luna is expected in the first quarter of next year.
With the approval from the country’s Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), construction is now allowed to go ahead beyond the boundary of the last permit, allowing Torex to develop infrastructure on the south side of the Balsas River.
This approval is a permitting milestone for the early works at Media Luna, Jody Kuzenko, Torex Gold president and CEO, said in the release.
“We are continuing with our strategic objective of de-risking and advancing Media Luna, with four key areas of focus in 2021. These include execution of our early works program to access the deposit from both the north and south sides of the river; advancing the feasibility study to completion in Q1 2022; continuation of the infill drilling program; and executing the permitting plan.”
This milestone also gives Torex the environmental go-ahead to continue developing the Guajes tunnel under the Balsas River, pending construction permit approval by the water regulator. The permit is expected to be submitted shortly.
Torex also plans to continue working on the permit application to assess the integration of infrastructure on the two sides of the river.
Morelos includes the operating El Limon Guajes mining complex, with three open pits and an underground mine, a processing plant, as well as the Media Luna underground deposit, 7 km from the existing plant.
Torex is looking at both a conventional mine design for Media Luna as well as at a mine plan that would use the company’s proprietary Muckahi mining system. This year, the miner expects to spend US$90 to US$100 on Media Luna, with the majority of this amount allocated for a 7-km tunnel under the Balsas River and for the South Portal.
In 2021, Torex expects El Limon Guajes to produce 430,000 to 470,000 gold oz., at all-in sustaining costs of US$920 to US$970 per oz.