Canadian producer Yamana Gold has achieved the first pouring of gold and silver doré at the Cerro Moro mine in Santa Cruz, Argentina.
The company noted that it is on course to commence commercial production later this quarter.
The 60,000km² Cerro Moro mine is a high-grade gold and silver operation.
According to the company, the mine sources ore from a combination of underground and open pit mining.
Based on the company’s operational outlook, the mine is expected to produce 85,000oz of gold and 3.75 million ounces (Moz) of silver.
Production will be gradually ramped up to achieve 125,000oz of gold and 6Moz of silver next year before scaling it up further to 130,000oz of gold and 8Moz of silver in 2020.
Yamana aims to ensure mill throughput rates reach nameplate capacity of 1,000t a day.
Through its exploration programme, the company is targeting the addition of one million gold equivalent ounces (GEO) to the mineral inventory at Cerro Moro in the next several years.
This will enable the company to pursue additional options for mine development, including the potential to add a dedicated power line and reducing production costs.
The project’s exploration budget for this year has been increased from $9m to $11.2m.
Under the exploration campaign, Yamana aims to achieve conversion of 110,000GEO of inferred mineral resources to measured and indicated mineral resources.
The programme will also focus on the discovery of 250,000GEO of new inferred mineral resources.
The company will also undertake scout drilling, soil and rock sampling, and mapping to define future drill targets.