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Chris was on site for a few days and sent out an update... Still no word on whether the PP has closed though.....
Lluvia de Oro Mine Visit January 12-15, 2013
I visited the Lluvia de Oro mine from January 12th to 15th to review new initiatives aimed at improving leaching, mining and gold recovery operations and to further strategize the ramp up of the mining rate in 2013 with the new site management team. The new site management team has a history of success in developing heap leach gold mines and that experience was immediately evident to me as I surveyed the improved site operations.
Gold production from the leach pads has improved meaningfully with increasing solution grades and an increasing number of ounces adsorbing to carbon. This is a direct result of a leaching optimization program that was initiated in November and December of 2012 by the new site management team (Figures 1 & 2 below). As part of these changes a much more extensive irrigation system was deployed resulting in increased coverage of the pad surface and pad slopes. This has resulted in increased gold extraction rates, higher solution grades and increased gold adsorption to carbon in the columns, which in turn has increased gold ounces recovered and improved cash flow.
Figure 1 - Comprehensive irrigation of pad surfaces has resulted in increased gold recovery
Figure 2 - Improvements in irrigation to pad slopes has resulted in increased gold recovery
Metallurgical work continues at the pilot pad and column test facility constructed outside of the company’s assay lab (Figure 3 below). Recent testing of mineralization from the sulphide zone at the Creston pit has provided encouraging results for gold recovery from these types of ores which were previously not being mined. Test work has also been able to better define leach curves for the gold bearing sandstone and siltstone lithological units that occur throughout the Lluvia de Oro deposit. This information has further enabled NWM to improve mine planning and process optimization, resulting in increased gold recoveries.
Figure 3 - Test work has provided encouraging results for treatment of sulphide ores
NWM has completed one year of successful commercial production at Lluvia de Oro mine, and final planning is being completed for an expected increase in gold production during 2013. A new and experienced post commissioning site management team is in place to implement the ramp up of mining operations and gold recovery from the Creston pit (Figure 4 below).
Figure 4 - Preparation to ramp up mining in the Creston pit at Lluvia de Oro
The Lluvia de Oro mine site visit identified considerable progress, and provided several insights on recent engineering and economic improvements. I look forward to reporting our progress in the months ahead.
Chris J. Berlet BSc (Mining), CFA
President and CEO
Please e-mail NWM Mining or telephone us at 416-364-6799 for more information.
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