McEwen Mining posts loss on strong investment to grow key assets

Canadian precious metals producer McEwen Mining (TSX, NYSE:MUX) posted Tuesday a $10.6-million net loss for the first half of the year following a $49-million investment in its Gold Bar, Black Fox and Los Azules projects during the period.

Net cash flow from the business, excluding project development costs, came at $18.7 million for the January-June period, and translated into 72,027 ounces of gold and 1,468,083 ounces of silver (91,602oz gold-equivalent oz), it said.

McEwen Mining is targeting commercial production at Gold Bar mine, in central Nevada, by the first quarter of 2019.

The Toronto-based miner expects to generate 128,000 ounces of gold and 3,225,000 ounces of silver (171,000oz Au-eq) this year. The company will include first production from its Gold Bar mine in the US in the first quarter next year. The Nevada-based operation is forecast to add production of 55,000 ounces, 74,000 ounces and 68,000oz ounces gold, respectively, in its first three years of operation.

The gold and silver miner is focused on building the mine’s heap leach pad and installing the crushing and processing facility in 2018’s second quarter. It says all major equipment and bulk materials are either purchased or on-site, and expects to finish construction in late 2018, with production starting in the first quarter of 2019.

Sustained growth

In the last three years, Rob McEwen — one of the gold’s industry’s best-known bulls — has been aggressively working on expanding his company, which already has producing mines in Mexico, Argentina and most recently also in Ontario, Canada.

His goal is to take McEwen Mining to the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, which groups the 500 largest companies that list either in the NYSE or NASDAQ.

Last year, the Canadian resources magnate McEwen told MINING.com he was giving himself two-to-three years to make that happen through a combination of organic growth in production as well as mergers and acquisitions.

Shortly after, it acquired junior exploration company Lexam VG, which gave McEwen access to mineral properties in advanced exploration stage in the heart of Timmins Gold Camp, northern Ontario. In October, it completed the acquisition of Black Fox mine and, by December, it announced it was speeding up exploration activities at its newly acquired properties near Timmins, Ontario.