McEwen Mining has reported that construction of the Gold Bar Mine in Nevada’s prolific Battle Mountain-Cortez Trend is nearing completion, just 14 months after breaking ground in November 2017. The Mine is on schedule for inaugural gold production in late February 2019. Commercial production will follow when the Mine’s systems reach a steady state, which is expected by the end of Q1. The project is tracking on our original capital cost estimate of $ 81.4 million.
A total of 150,000 tons of ore have been placed on the heap leach pad since starting in December 2018. A few weeks ago leaching was initiated and gold is being dissolved by the cyanide solution at the desired rate. We estimate that the Gold Bar Mine will produce 55,000 ounces (oz) gold in 2019 at an all-in cost of approximately US$ 975 per ounce.
December and January were challenging months on site with heavy snow and cold temperatures delaying some work. Remaining activities to complete the process plant include electrical work, instrumentation installation, and commissioning of the gold refinery circuit. We would like to thank all our employees and subcontractors for their dedication to the job at hand whatever the conditions.
The company noted that 2018 exploration drilling has extended the estimated mine life to 7.4 years. The future addition of the Gold Bar South resource to the mine plan should further extend the mine life by a minimum of one year. Our 2019 exploration budget on the Gold Bar property is $ 4.4 million. Exploration drilling will target both near surface and deep Carlin-type mineralization.