Cerro Corona mine – Peru (99.53% attributable to Gold Fields)
Cerro Corona’s life extension to 2030, first reported last year, is now supported by an FS which has driven improved Resource to Reserve conversion through solutions to key technical challenges related to accelerated mining, stockpile management, hydrogeology, waste rock storage and in-pit TSF hydraulic containment. A study to assess the viability of a further two-year life extension to 2032 will be conducted in 2020.
Salares Norte – Chile
An updated FS was presented to the Board in February 2020 and the Final notice to proceed (FNTP) to construct the mine was subsequently provided. The EIA approval was obtained from Chilean authorities in December 2019. The Mineral Reserves estimate is 3.5Moz gold and 39Moz silver, equating to gold equivalent Reserves of 4.1Moz. The project has a current 10-year life-of-mine profiled (11.5 years inclusive of Inferred Resources), with construction scheduled to commence in Q4 2020 with first production in Q1 2023. Step-out drilling proximal to the Salares Norte pit is testing for potential extensions and district exploration continues to return encouraging results warranting more detailed follow up.
Exploration drilling and expenditure
The Mineral Resource for Cerro Corona mine is defined by approximately 97km of exploration drilling. Towards the end of 2018, Gold Fields La Cima (GFLC) completed a campaign that included 4,642m of infill drilling focused on increasing resolution on key lithological contacts to refine the long-term grade model and completion of additional hydrogeological boreholes.
During 2019, a drilling campaign of 11,665m of DD was carried out to assess the economic potential of Resources between the Reserve pit and the Resource pit. During the course of the drilling programme, it became evident that better potential may exist in the mineralisation adjacent to the eastern wall. Priority was given to focus on the drilling in this area. A study to assess the viability of a further two-year life extension to 2032 will be conducted in 2020, focusing on a potential east wall reserve pit cut-back supported by infill drilling and enhanced geological domaining undertaken in 2019.
At Salares Norte, step-out drilling at Agua Amarga North tested areas in excess of 100m outside the current Resource pit shell with encouraging results. Drilling to further assess ore body continuity at Agua Amarga North will continue in Q1 2020. District exploration was primarily focused over the Horizonte Project (formerly known as Pircas), where 14,459m of DD were completed over multiple targets returning encouraging results during the year. The Brecha West target was defined using geological mapping, geophysical surveys and geochemistry, and exploration drilling is to continue on this target in 2020 after limited DD drilling was completed (1,067m) in 2019.