Yamana Gold has announced the first pour of gold and silver doré at Cerro Moro mine, located in Santa Cruz province, Argentina.
The Toronto-based miner said that the production ramp up of Cerro Moro remains on track as planned.
Commercial production from the mine is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2018.
According to the company, the Cerro Moro mine is a high-grade gold and silver operation sourcing ore from a combination of underground and open pit mining.
Yamana said in a statement: “With the ramp up of production underway, the Company is focusing on ensuring mill throughput rates reach nameplate capacity of 1,000 tonnes per day, and that grades and recoveries reconcile to plan.
“As of current date, ramp up of mining and milling is well on track, with the major equipment performing to design during usual performance tests and commencement of operations.”
After a two-year period that mainly focused on engineering and construction activities of the mine, the exploration program at Cerro Moro and in the mine district started in the second half of 2017.
According to the company, the Cerro Moro mine is expected to produce 85,000 ounces of gold and 3.75 million ounces of silver in 2018.
In the next several years, Yamana aims to add one million gold equivalent ounces (GEO) to the mineral inventory at Cerro Moro.
The firm said: “Achieving this goal should provide further options for mine development including the potential to add a dedicated power line and reducing production costs.”
Yamana has increased its allocation for exploration in 2018 to $11.2m from $9m in the first quarter of this year.
The Cerro Moro deposit is located in the Deseado Massif, which is a tectonic block in the central-portion of the Santa Cruz Province, covering an area of nearly 60,000 km2.