Argentina and Mexico

McEwen Mining sees 'brighter future'

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Though Toronto-based McEwen Mining has been struggling with high operating costs, its chairman said the company can see a brighter future. 

"While we still have issues to resolve, such as increasing our treasury by producing more ounces at a lower cost, we can clearly see a brighter future," said Rob McEwen.

McEwen, which has mines in Mexico and Argentina as well as Canada and the US, produced 35,700oz of gold equivalent in Q3, down from 42,900oz a year earlier. 

Third quarter production comprised 26,200oz of gold and 852,200oz of silver, the company said in a release on Monday.

Year-to-date production was 74,650oz of gold and 1.89Moz of silver, or 97,000oz gold equivalent, down from 114,200oz of gold equivalent in the nine months to September 2021, McEwen said. 


"In Mexico, we recently acquired a complete process plant on very advantageous terms that will help significantly reduce projected capital requirements for our Fenix project," McEwen said.

He said the acquisition has made Fenix more attractive to build and could provide a new long-life mine for McEwen Mining. 

Fenix, in Sinaloa state, involves a two-phase development process. 

Phase 1 includes reprocessing material on the gold heap leach pad at the El Gallo mine, with estimated capex of US$42mn. 

Phase 2 involves open pit mining of the in-situ silver ores at El Gallo Silver and additional capex of US$24mn.

El Gallo produced 170oz gold equivalent in Q3 and 900oz in the first nine months, down from 560oz and 2,500oz a year earlier. "Residual heap leaching ceased in July 2022," the statement said. 

Mining and crushing at El Gallo ended in the second quarter of 2018 due to the transition to deeper sulfide mineralization that is not amenable to heap leaching, the company says.


"The San José mine, where we have a 49% interest, put in a strong quarter, and its exploration is continuing to extend its high-grade veins and discover new veins," said the chairman. 

San José mine, in Argentina’s Santa Cruz province, is an underground gold and silver operation in production since 2007. It is a JV between McEwen Mining (49%) and Hochschild Mining (51%).


"Revised guidance for 2022 production is 134,600-141,800 GEOs, reflecting a decrease of approximately 6,500 GEOs at Fox [in Ontario] and 14,000 GEOs at Gold Bar [in Nevada] due to carbonaceous material encountered throughout 2022," the miner said.

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