After acquiring the Cerro de Oro project in August, Minera Alamos has released an initial resource estimate for the 65-sq.-km property in Zacatecas State in Mexico.
The resource estimate features 48 million inferred pit-constrained tonnes, grading 0.41 g/t gold, containing 630,000 oxide gold oz. This estimate is based on a 0.18 g/t gold cut-off and was prepared using an economic pit shell derived at $1,450 per oz. gold.
“This Mineral Resource estimate is an excellent start for the Cerro de Oro gold project,” Darren Koningen, Minera Alamos’ CEO, said in a release. “With this in hand we are confident about rapidly advancing the work required to put us on a path toward a production decision at Cerro de Oro following the initial start up of operations at Santana.”
Koningen added that the company has a fast-track development plan in mind for this project, with plans to submit permit applications early next year for the construction of a gold heap leach operation. In addition, Minera Alamos sees good potential to expand this initial resource through additional drilling, which is also planned for next year.
Priority targets include both potential expansions of the known mineralized zones. Limited diamond drilling also indicates potential for deeper sulphide mineralization, below the current resource estimate – according to Koningen, this unit was overlooked during past exploration at the site. Metallurgical studies are ongoing to assess the potential of this material.
Over the coming months, the developer also plans to prepare a detailed geological model for the entire land package and complete additional metallurgical testing to optimize size-recovery relationships for the oxide gold mineralization. Minera Alamos also expects to complete surface rights agreements for permitting and development at the site and develop a hydrogeological study to locate high priority water source targets.
The initial resource is based on 84 reverse circulation drill holes and 12 diamond drill holes. The oxide holes were drilled to depths of 60 to 160 metres.
Cerro de Oro features a porphyry gold system with skarn haloes and disseminated and veinlet-controlled gold mineralization.
Minera Alamos acquired a 100% stake in Cerro de Oro from a private vendor, for a total of $2.9 million in cash and 4 million shares of the company, payable over a four-year period.
The company’s most advanced asset is the wholly owned Santana heap leach development in Mexico’s Sonora State, where construction is underway and first gold production is expected in early 2021.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)