In development: a significant gold/silver deposit in Southwestern Guatemala.
Cerro Blanco is a classic hot springs gold deposit with typical bonanza-type gold mineralization. At the end of 2012, the deposit contained 1.3 million ounces of indicated gold resources at an average grade of 15.64 grams per tonne and 0.7 million ounces of inferred gold resources at an average grade of 15.31 grams per tonne.
At the property, site-based activities continue to focus on the finalization of the project feasibility study. While initial exploration was geared toward a potential open-pit mine, subsequent drilling identified a number of narrow, higher-grade intercepts, and the development scope changed to underground mining with potential synergies to the Marlin property.
To determine the ability to mine underground in this geothermal area, two drifts are being mined, from the north and south ends of the deposit (1,315 metres in total), later declining into the ore body. Mining of the two declines is paused until the water table has been lowered and ventilation fans are in place. The Guatemalan Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) approved the groundwater discharge (as anticipated in the original Environmental Impact Assessment), and water is now pumped directly from underground and processed in a water treatment plant which removes naturally-occurring groundwater constituents prior to discharging.
A nearby geothermal resource has the potential to generate a significant quantity of geothermal power, and testing will be carried on three geothermal wells for their generation capacity and ability to contribute to the dewatering of the ore body.