The Cerro Moro low sulfidation, silver-gold deposit is located within the Deseado Massif approximately 70 km southwest of the coastal port city of Puerto Deseado in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina. The project contains a number of high grade epithermal gold and silver deposits, some of which will be mined via open pit and some via underground mining methods.
Cerro Moro is currently in development and Yamana´s expenditures in 2017 and the first half of 2018 are expected to be more than $230 million. Recent work has included detailed engineering, the construction of the mine and mill, the advancement of underground workings and exploration drilling in order to increase the size of the Cerro Moro mineral resources. The Probable Reserve estimate as of Dec. 2016 was 1.95 Mt containing grades of 648.2 g/t silver and 11.4 g/t gold (3.4 - 6.2 g/t AuEq cut-off).
The concentrator will consist of a crushing, grinding and flotation circuit with a counter current decantation and a Merrill Crowe circuit included. Metallurgical recoveries are expected to average 95% for gold and 93% for silver.
Commercial production at Cerro Moro is expected during the first half of 2018 with 2019 production estimated to be approximately 130,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 11.0 g/t, and 9,900,000 ounces of silver at an average grade of 920.0 g/t. Sandstorm will begin to receive silver ounces from Cerro Moro in January 2019.
Development is on time and on budget with open pit operations underway and underground development progressing according to plan. Mill commissioning and commercial production is expected during the first half of 2018.
Exploration activities at Cerro Moro have focused on Mineral Resource discovery as part of a four-year program with the goal to extend the operational mine life by adding one million new gold equivalent ounces to the Mineral Resource inventory. Drilling to infill and extend targets within the known Escondida-Zoe vein system have yielded encouraging results.