Open Pit Operations
Elemental acquired a 2.25% NSR royalty on the Amancaya gold-silver mine in July 2018, providing estimated average annual revenues of $1Mpa.
The Amancaya mine is located in northern Chile approximately 200km south east of Antofagasta. The mine was acquired by Austral Gold Ltd (ASX: AGD) in 2014 from Yamana Gold (TSX: YRI), after which open pit operations began in March 2017.
Conventional open-pit mining is focussed on the Central Vein, carried out using 30t trucks and a combination of excavators and front-end loaders. Ore from Amancaya is currently mined at 400-500tpd then trucked about 70km to Austral’s new plant at the Guanaco mine where material is batch processed due to its higher silver content. Ore is crushed and processed by a 1,500tpd agitation leach plant before a pregnant solution is passed into a Merrill-Crowe circuit where gold and silver doré is produced. Decline development has commenced to establish underground ore sources to complement open-pit production.
Exploration to date at Amancaya represents the early development of a small part of an extensive vein swarm where the extent and pattern of low sulphidation epithermal veining appears similar to that at the 20yr ~10MOz @ 7.5g/t AuEq El Penon mine in same region. Numerous epithermal veins have been mapped since 2016 and significant areas of the licence remain covered by later volcanics and thin sediment cover.
Most current exploration is concentrated on understanding and extending the Central Vein, with preliminary work elsewhere in the tenement very encouraging with strong rock chips, trenching and reconnaissance drilling. The Nueva Vein has been identified as a prime target to the north, and it is noted that substantial portions of the lease are under younger volcanics and recent sedimentary cover.
For further information please visit the Austral Gold website.