Gold And Silver Reserves Increased At The San Jose Mine
ORONTO, ON - McEwen Mining Inc. reported updated mineral reserve and resource estimate for the San José mine (49% owned by McEwen Mining), located in Santa Cruz province, Argentina. The updated estimate continues to demonstrate that San José is one of the highest-grade precious metal mines in the Americas that continues to replace its mined ounces even with record production. The mineral reserve and resource estimates were calculated using US$1,200 per ounce gold and US$20 per ounce silver. The estimates were independently audited by P&E Mining Consultants Inc.
Proven and Probable gold and silver reserves increased by 12% and 12% respectively, to 409,400 ounces gold and 30.1 million ounces silver, contained in 1.8 million tonnes. Gold grades increased by 9% to 7.03 gpt and silver grades increased by 10% to 515 gpt. Measured and Indicated gold and silver resources increased by 6% and 7% respectively, with 1.05 million ounces gold and 72.8 million ounces silver, contained in 4.4 million tonnes. Gold and silver grades increased by 6% to 7.45 gpt gold and 515 gpt silver. Inferred gold and silver resources were down slightly from 2012 with 430,500 ounces gold and 27.1 million ounces silver, contained in 1.9 million tonnes. Gold grades decreased by 2% to 7.23 gpt and silver grades decreased by 4% to 455 gpt.
Production for 2013 increased by 10%, to 221,073 gold equivalent ounces (converting silver into gold using a 52:1 ratio), consisting of 98,827 gold ounces and 6,356,801 silver ounces. Production attributable to McEwen Mining for 2013 was 108,326 gold equivalent ounces, consisting of 48,425 ounces of gold and 3.1 million ounces of silver. Net of this production, total reserves increased by 12% for gold and 12% for silver, to an estimated 1.8 million tonnes at a grade of 7.03 gpt gold and 515 gpt silver, for a total of 409,400 ounces of gold and 30.1 million ounces of silver. Gold grades increased by 9% to 7.03 gpt and silver grades increased by 10% to 515 gpt.
In addition to increasing reserves, the exploration program in 2013 was focused on finding extensions of the known resource while also upgrading the resource previously classified as Inferred. The mine is consistently replacing production within the Measured and Indicated resource categories. The contained ounces of gold and silver within the 4.4 million tonnes of the Measured and Indicated resources are up from 2012 by 6% and 7% respectively for a total of 1.05 million ounces gold and 72.8 million ounces silver. Gold and silver grades both increased by 6% to 7.45 gpt gold and 515 gpt silver.
Inferred gold and silver resources were down as a result of the increase in the Measured and Indicated resources versus 2012, with Inferred resources totaling 1.9 million tonnes at a grade of 7.23 gpt gold and 455 gpt silver, for a total of 430,500 ounces of gold and 27.1 million ounces of silver, representing a decrease of 13% for gold and 16% for silver from 2012. Gold grades decreased by 2% to 7.23 gpt and silver grades decreased by 4% to 455 gpt.
The San José mine is owned and operated by Minera Santa Cruz S.A., a joint venture owned 51% by Hochschild Mining Plc and 49% by McEwen Mining Inc.
In 2013, McEwen Mining and Hochschild Mining, entered into an agreement to contribute their respective exploration properties around the mine to the San José joint venture. For much of 2013, the exploration program at San José focused on the geological mapping of the district area, identifying new structures located south and southeast of the property. A total of approximately 10,529 metres of drilling was completed during the year.