Yamana forecasts 31% increase in Jacobina output

Jacobina gold mine is s located in the east central section of Bahia state of Northern Brazil. (Image courtesy of Yamana Gold)

Yamana Gold (TSX: YRI; NYSE: AUY) said on Wednesday that the Phase 2 expansion of its Jacobina mine in Brazil could lead to significant increases in production and cash flow generation, reaffirming the mine as a “low-cost and long-life asset.”

The Phase 2 expansion project builds on the success of the company’s Phase 1 optimization project, which targeted a sustained throughput of 6,500 t/d and yearly production of 175,000 oz. This objective was achieved during the first quarter of 2020.

Phase 2 outlines an increase in throughput to 8,500 t/d, which will be achieved through the installation of an additional grinding line and incremental upgrades to the crushing and gravity circuits.

Once complete, the company will ramp up gold production to 230,000 oz annually by 2023 at an average feed grade of 2.40 g/t gold, representing a 31% increase compared with Phase 1.

Total capital cost for the project is estimated at $57 million, of which $35 million relates to the processing plant, $14 million for underground mining and $8 million for infrastructure, Yamana said.

Detailed engineering for the Phase 2 expansion is currently scheduled to start during the second half of the year, and would be completed by early 2023.

The Phase 2 expansion project’s prefeasibility study is based on the mine’s current mineral reserves and includes a life of mine of 11.5 years from the start of 2020. It also cites an after-tax net present value (NPV) of $777 million, assuming a $1,250/oz gold price.

Currently, the Jacobina mine has a proven mineral reserve of 20 million tonnes grading 2.29 g/t gold for a contained 1.5 million ounces.

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