Golden Minerals Co.'s preliminary economic assessment for its El Quevar silver project in Argentina's Salta province defined an after-tax net present value of US$44.9 million, discounted at 5%, and a 17% internal rate of return.
Preproduction capital costs were pegged at US$96.8 million, including a US$16 million contingency, with a 3.4-year payback period. Preproduction development is expected to take two years.
During a six-year mine life, the operation is expected to produce 29 million ounces of silver, averaging about 4.8 million ounces annually, with all-in sustaining costs of US$9.45/oz of payable silver.
Using a base case silver price of US$16.66/oz, El Quevar is estimated to generate cash flows of US$79.8 million over the life of mine, according to the Sept. 5 release.
According to a resource estimate completed earlier in the year, the property hosts indicated sulfide resources of 2.6 million tonnes at 487 g/t of silver for 41.1 million ounces, and indicated oxide resources of 300,000 tonnes at 434 g/t of silver for 4.2 million contained ounces of silver.
Inferred resources at El Quevar comprise 310,000 tonnes of sulfide material grading 417 g/t of silver for 4.1 million contained ounces. The analysis used a cutoff of 250 g/t of silver.
Golden Minerals noted that the PEA only considers the Yaxtché deposit at El Quevar, with Yaxtché mineralization remaining open along strike, additional targets identified and further exploration planned.
The company recently sold its remaining interest in the Celaya silver-gold project in Mexico for US$3 million, with a portion of the proceeds earmarked for exploration at El Quevar.