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Peñasquito is Mexico's largest gold producer, consisting of two open pits - Peñasco and Chile Colorado - containing gold, silver, lead and zinc. Over the next three years, mining activities in the pit are expected to be focused on lower grade ore in the upper parts of the Peñasco pit while stripping is emphasized to ensure an economically optimal pit shell design to maximize the net asset value of the operation. By 2019, Peñasquito’s gold production is expected to benefit from an improvement in mined grades as it recommences mining higher grades at the bottom of the Peñasco pit and significantly enhanced metallurgical recoveries with the planned completion of the Pyrite Leach Project ("PLP").
The PLP was approved by the Board on July 27, 2016 and mobilization will commence in August 2016. The project is expected to increase overall gold and silver recovery by treating the zinc tailings before discharge to the tailings storage facility. Based on a feasibility study entitled “Feasibility Study Report Peñasquito Metallurgical Enhancement Project” completed December 2015 by Fluor Canada Inc. (the "feasibility study"), the PLP is expected to recover approximately 40% of the gold and 48% of the silver currently reporting to the tailings. PLP is expected to add annual incremental production of approximately 100,000 – 140,000 gold ounces and approximately 4.0 – 6.0 million silver ounces for the life of the mine. Commercial production is expected in the first quarter of 2019.
* Due to rounding, numbers may not add up.