Canadian-based, Mexico-focused producer Altaley Mining has commenced pre-production mining as well as mill commissioning at its Tahuehueto gold operation in Durango, Mexico, and officials are now eyeing first deliveries of concentrate.
Officials said the processing facility at the operation is online and now allows for milling from one ball mill of up to 500 t/d with flotation cells, concentrate thickeners and concentrate filters.
During the commissioning phase of the first ball mill, a bulk concentrate will be produced and as soon as possible thereafter, the company said. It will then process a separate precious metal rich lead concentrate and a zinc concentrate.
Copper concentrate production is planned to be initiated late 2022.
In addition, the company has stockpiled over 29,000 tonnes of ore to be used in the commissioning process and pre-production phases of the first ball mill. As soon as the plant completes start-up commissioning and has been optimized for maximum recoveries and throughput, it will use a higher grade run of mine ore in order to maximize revenues.
Altaley said its mining contractor for the underground element has developed access to four stopes at the mine, two on the El Creston structure and two on the Perdido structure, providing multiple working faces more than fully capable to supply adequate mill feed for the mine’s start-up 500 t/d phase.
Underground development is continuing and will soon provide access to two additional stopes on Perdido and four additional stopes on El Creston at lower elevations, giving it at least 10 mining stopes capable of supplying mill feed to the 1,000 t/d operation upon completion of construction as described below.
“I am very excited to see Tahuehueto commencing pre-production activities and look forward with anticipation to our first concentrate deliveries, anticipated in several weeks, which will bring our company its first revenue from the new, on-site Tahuehueto mineral processing facility” said CEO Ralph Shearing.
He also noted that Tahuehueto coming online is a major goal for its flagship asset.
“We will…re-initiate exploration activities to expand reserves and resources, which exploration I am convinced, can unlock the hidden, undiscovered ultimate potential of this district-scale project allowing mine expansion and extension to the current life of mine,” he added.
Altaley owns 100% of Tahuehueto.