Torex upgrades Media Luna resource
Torex Gold has released an updated resource for its Media Luna deposit at the Morelos project with 12.6 million tonnes at 5.55 g/t gold-equivalent in the indicated category for a total of 2.24 million oz. and 33.5 million inferred tonnes at 4.23 g/t gold-equivalent for an additional 4.56 million oz.
This resource is based on an updated geological model and infill drilling; the prior resource consisted of 51.5 million inferred tonnes at 4.48 g/t gold-equivalent for a total of 7.42 million contained gold-equivalent ounces.
While this more conservative resource estimation did lead to a loss of 8 million tonnes from the inventory, additional drilling could convert these into future mineral resources, the company said.
“Over the coming quarters we plan to continue to advance and de-risk Media Luna,” Fred Stanford, president and CEO said in a release. “With trade-off studies nearing completion and the upgraded resource in hand, we expect to complete a feasibility study in the next 12 to 14 months.”
The company plans to start excavating an access tunnel to Media Luna in the second half of this year. Media Luna is located an estimated 7 km from the company’s El Limon Guajes mine at Morelos. Torex expects to fund Media Luna development from its operating cash flow.
A preliminary economic assessment for the deposit released in 2018 outlined an underground operation utilizing longhole stoping and cut and fill extraction with material transport via a suspended conveyor to the existing processing plant. The associated project, with a $497 million capital outlay, would deliver a $582 million net present value, at a 5% discount rate.
Torex also released 2020 operating guidance of 420,000 oz. to 480,000 oz. of gold production for this year from El Limon Guajes at all-in sustaining costs of $900 to $960 per oz, in line with the 454,810 oz. produced last year.
The company also expects to spend $49 million on growth at Media Luna this year, which will include a feasibility study, access tunnel works and infill drilling. A further $27 million is budgeted for underground development and testing the Muckahi mining system.
The Muckahi mining method, with a patent-pending, was developed by Torex and features continuous ore handling from the stope to transport via shaft or to surface. It would allow for steeper declines with lower capital and operating costs. This method is being tested currently at El Limon Deep.
Trade-off studies are underway for Media Luna to evaluate the potential of using the Muckahi method at the asset.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)