Goldcorp, (TSX: G, NYSE: GG) Yamana Gold, (TSX:YRI; NYSE: AUY) and Glencore (LSE:GLEN; JSE:GLN) signed an integration agreement this week that stipulates the Agua Rica copper-gold project in Argentina will be developed and operated using the existing infrastructure and facilities at the Alumbrera mine.
“The integration of the Agua Rica project and the Alumbrera mine has significant merit given the proximity of the assets, and the potential to realize significant synergies by taking full advantage of existing infrastructure associated with the Alumbrera mine for the development and operation of Agua Rica,” the companies said in a statement released by Goldcorp.
Agua Rica hosts a large scale, long life copper mineral resource with associated gold, silver, and molybdenum while the Alumbrera infrastructure is of significant scale and configuration.
Preliminary studies show the potential for a mine life in excess of 25 years at average annual production of approximately 236,000 tonnes of copper-equivalent, including the contributions of gold, molybdenum, and silver, for the first 10 years of operation, based on the Agua Rica mineral reserve, estimated to contain proven and probable mineral reserves of approximately 4.5 million tonnes of copper and 6.5 million ounces of gold contained in approximately 910 million tonnes of ore.
The Alumbrera infrastructure, located in northern Argentina between the mine site and the port, presents an opportunity to enhance project economics while reducing project complexity and environmental footprint, the companies said.
The pre-feasibility study for the integrated project will be completed in 2019 and that a full feasibility study with updated mineral reserve, production and project cost estimates will be completed by 2020. Glencore currently owns 50% of the Alumbrera mine, while Goldcorp owns 37.5% and Yamana owns 12.5 %.
By Friday afternoon, Yamana Gold’s stock had climbed over 7.5%.