Canadian microcap gold company Element79 Gold Corp has engaged Lima-based SLM Mining Services to help it fast-track redevelopment of the former high-grade Shila gold-silver mine in southern Peru.
Element79 said a three-year management services agreement with SLM would see the local company appoint a project general manager for what it now calls its Lucero project. The junior will work with SLM to map out a restart plan for Lucero, said to have produced about 40,000 ounces gold-equivalent a year at average grades up to 19 grams per tonne gold-equivalent until 2005, and undertake mine pre-start activity.
Lucero was permitted for a 350 tonnes-per-day operation and Element79 thinks it can turn it into a “cash-flow generation machine” late this year or early in 2024. It acquired the asset last year.
“Lucero consistently delivered high grades during 16 years of operations and between 1998 and 2004 reported production averaging approximately 18,800 ounces of gold and 435,000 ounces of silver per year at grades of … 14gpt gold and 373gpt silver, with recoveries at the ore processing facility averaging 94.5% for gold and 85.5% for silver,” the company said.
“Lucero is one of many low-sulphidation epithermal gold-silver deposits hosted in tertiary volcanics of the Central Andes Cordillera of southern Peru. The project hosts 74 recognised epithermal veins, 14 of which have been partially exploited.”
Element79 said SLM had many years’ experience in exploration, development and operation “of multiple mining projects throughout the Andean region”.
“SLM is a key piece in the plan to bring Lucero back into production,” CEO James Tworek said.
“SLM’s past and upcoming boots-on-the-ground work at Lucero and community relations with the local Chachas group along with our in-house operations team will greatly assist in advancing the project toward cash flow generation.
“We will release our development plans shortly as well as the results of these programs as they progress.”