Golden Minerals Company is a Delaware corporation and our common stock is publicly traded on the Toronto and the New York MKT Stock Exchanges. Golden Minerals owns the Velardeña and Chicago precious metals mining properties (the "Velardeña Properties") in the State of Durango, Mexico, the El Quevar advanced exploration silver property in the Salta province of northwestern Argentina, and a diversified portfolio of precious metals exploration properties located in or near historical precious metals producing regions of Mexico and Argentina. Our total company resources are estimated at approximately 59.3 million silver equivalent ounces in the Measured and Indicated category, plus an additional 63.3 million silver equivalent ounces in the Inferred category.*
The Velardeña Properties were acquired in September 2011 and consist of two mines and two processing facilities. Velardeña contains high-grade silver and gold plus lead and zinc base metals, and the resource remains open at depth. During 2012, payable production reached approximately 843,000 silver equivalent ounces, consisting of approximately 457,000 ounces silver and 6,450 ounces gold (using a 60:1 ratio for gold to silver). Additionally, the company produced approximately 1.0 million pounds of payable lead and 1.4 million pounds of payable zinc. In the first half of 2013, payable production reached approximately 395,000 silver equivalent ounces, consisting of 251,000 ounces silver and 2,400 ounces gold. Due primarily to continuing depressed market prices of silver and gold, the company suspended mining operations at Velardeña on June 19, 2013 and placed the properties on a care and maintenance program. The suspension of production was carried out in order to best conserve the asset until operating plans and silver and gold prices indicate a sustainable cash margin for operations. Golden used the operating down time to conduct a 9,000-meter drilling program and to develop a new mining plan that indicates positive net cash flow from the Velardeña Properties after production is ramped up through the second quarter 2015. Golden resumed mining activity on July 1, 2014, started processing at the sulfide mill on November 3, 2014, and is focused on executing its new mining plan at Velardeña.
Golden also retains 100 percent control over the El Quevar pure silver, 55,000-hectare project located in the Salta Province of northwest Argentina that remains open to both the east and west. A June 2012 NI 43-101 compliant technical report shows a silver resource of 32.0 million ounces Indicated and 30.2 million ounces Inferred. A late-2012 drilling program conducted in areas outside the scope of the June 2012 technical report produced positive results that reinforced our thesis that El Quevar exhibits characteristics of an emerging new silver district. Golden Minerals is actively seeking a partner with whom to conduct further drilling and analysis and to advance the El Quevar project.
Golden has no debt and no hedging on its books. The Company reported a balance of approximately $8.6 million cash and equivalents as of December 31, 2014.
The Golden Minerals management team has a proven track record in all areas of mineral resource development, including acquisition and exploration, permitting, construction, ramp-up and optimization of production, commissioning all aspects of operations, mine reclamation and closure. Our executive team has held positions with major mining companies throughout the world.
*Silver equivalents include only silver and gold and are calculated using a ratio of 60:1 gold to silver. Resources as per Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (“NI-43-101”) compliant mineral resource estimates dated 29 June 2012 (Velardeña) and 8 June 2012 (El Quevar). Figures exclude the San Diego joint venture property.