Following the cessation of operations at Lomada de Leiva in November 2017, Patagonia Gold currently has one operating asset – Cap-Oeste, which had its first gold pour at the end of 2016. Production at Lomada, totalled 93,246 oz over its 4 year life. At Cap-Oeste, pit optimisation has increased the initial open pit mine life from 24 months to three years, with total LOM (Life of Mine) production estimated at 186,800 oz AuEq.
In May 2016, operations at Lomada were suspended and the entire mining fleet redeployed to Cap-Oeste.
Despite the cessation of mining operations, the heap leach pad at Lomada continued to operate and produced gold at levels above expectations until it finally finished in November 2017.
In mid-2018, a trial re-crushing programme of the stacked Lomada ore will begin. Approximately 50,000 tonnes of already extensively leached material will be crushed finer with a high volume, low cost impact crushing unit and the material leached again to see if additional recoveries can be achieved. The overall cost per tonne of re-handling and crushing is estimated not to exceed $2.80/t or, in gold terms, a recovered gold content equal to 0.06 g/t minus operating costs and additional CAPEX for the pad expansion at Lomada. The company is confident the crushing will liberate in the order of a further 10% or 0.20g/t of contained gold which has not as yet been leached.
Exploration on the 40,000 hectare La Paloma block is currently on hold with other exploration targets given priority during 2017.