The Gualcamayo mine is an open pit and underground heap leach operation that reached commercial production in 2009. Gualcamayo consists of three substantial zones of gold mineralization called Quebrada del Diablo (QDD), Amelia Ines-Magdalena (AIM) and QDD Lower West. QDD is a sediment-hosted disseminated gold deposit while AIM is a sulphide-bearing skarn deposit containing copper, zinc and molybdenum with gold-arsenic mineralization. Porphyry style molybdenum mineralization also occurs at the project.
The process facility at Gualcamayo is designed to treat 24,000 tpd and includes a primary, secondary and tertiary crushing circuit. Gold recovery of approximately 60% is achieved using heap leaching and activated carbon in an ADR plant where gold doré is produced and sent to a refinery. The Gualcamayo mine produced approximately 154,000 ounces of gold during 2017. The December 2016 Proven and Probable Reserves at Gualcamayo contain 754 kozs of gold in 18.2 Mt at a grade of 1.3 g/t (1.0 g/t cut-off).
Yamana has exploration programs ongoing at Gualcamayo with a focus to increase the mine life through the discovery of new oxide orebodies. The company is also evaluating the potential of non-oxide ore bodies, including deep carbonates.
Production in the fourth quarter was approximately 45,000 ounces bringing 2017 production to approximately 154,000 ounces of gold.
Yamana intends to develop the recently discovered oxide deposits around the main pit (Cerro Condor, Potenciales and Las Vacas), as well as the Oxides Distrital targets near Gualcamayo. The objective is to extend the mine life of the heap leach and to optimize costs and productivity in the underground mine.