Golden Minerals controls a diversified portfolio of approximately 30 precious metals and other mineral exploration properties located primarily in or near historic precious metals producing regions of Mexico and Argentina. Projects include Santa Isabel, Santa Maria, Ruby Esmeralda, Zacatecas, Celaya and San Diego (a 50-percent-owned joint venture with Golden Tag Resources).
None of these properties have established proven or probable ore reserves.
Santa Maria (Mexico)
On August 1, 2014, the Company entered into an agreement giving Golden Minerals the right to acquire for $1.6 million the Santa Maria mine, a privately-held gold and silver property located near the Parral District of southern Chihuahua State, Mexico and located approximately 20 kilometers from the Company's Los Azules project. The agreement calls for payments of $1.6 million over 1.5 years to complete the purchase. An initial option payment of $35,000 has been made and a $0.5 million option payment is due in January 2015.
Golden Minerals completed a 2,300-meter, 11-hole initial drilling program at the Santa Maria mine in 2014. Highlights include hole SM14-08 that returned an intercept of 568 grams per tonne silver and 2.7 grams per tonne gold over 4.42 meters, hole SM14-04 with an intercept of 222 grams per tonne silver and 2.5 grams per tonne gold over 4.95 meters, and hole SM14-06 which returned intercepts of 411 grams per tonne silver and 2.3 grams per tonne gold over 3.02 meters. Results are summarized in the table below.
||Drill Width (meters)
||True Width (meters)
Based on encouraging drill results, in October 2014 Golden Minerals retained an outside firm to prepare a National Instrument (NI) 43-101 Technical Report on the Santa Maria property. The report was completed in the first quarter of 2015 and outlines a resource as follows:
SANTA MARIA MINE - 43-101 Technical Report Prepared by Tetra Tech, April 2015
||Cut-off Grade AgEq g/t
||Silver Eq. Oz
||Oxide, Mixed & Sulfide
||Oxide, Mixed & Sulfide
1 Resources are reported as diluted tonnes and grade to a minimum 0.8meter (m) width
with 0.2m dilution added
2 Cut-off grade has been estimated using 90% recovery and 90% payable Ag and Au
with forward looking prices: US$17 per troy ounce Ag, US$1,200 per troy ounce Au
3 Equivalents calculated at 70:1 silver to gold
4 Silver and gold equivalent ounces are not additive
Our 100 percent controlled Zacatecas silver and base metals project in Mexico is in an advanced stage of exploration. Although we believe that the Zacatecas project may contain significant silver and other mineralization, we have not completed a feasibility study on the property, and the property may not advance further.
The Zacatecas Mining District is located in the central part of Mexico, in the Faja de Plata mineral belt. Our Zacatecas project surrounds the municipalities of Zacatecas, Veta Grande, Guadalupe, Pánuco, and Morelos in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico. We own approximately 150 concessions totaling approximately 8,600 hectares in the Zacatecas project.
To maintain all of the concessions in the Zacatecas project, we pay approximately $120,000 per year to the Mexican government. We are party to a finder's fee agreement with an individual, which requires that we pay a 1 percent net smelter return royalty on any mineral production from certain of our Zacatecas claims. We also have the obligation to pay a 1 percent net smelter return royalty on the San Sabino concession, which we may buy back for $1.0 million and a 2 percent net smelter return royalty on the San Gil concession. For the San Gil concession, on the first anniversary of production, we will be required to purchase the San Gil royalty for $575,000. At that time we will no longer be obligated to pay the 2 percent royalty.
San Diego (Mexico)
We own a 50 percent interest in the San Diego silver and gold exploration property, which is subject to a joint venture agreement between ECU and Golden Tag Resources Ltd., with each company holding 50 percent of the joint venture. The property consists of four concessions and the exploration activities of the joint venture are currently managed by Golden Tag. Golden Tag has the option to earn an additional 10 percent interest in this joint venture by making expenditures related to further exploration drilling and completing an updated resource assessment. We hold the concessions in the San Diego property through our wholly-owned Mexican subsidiary Minera William S.A. de C.V.
The San Diego property, located in the State of Durango, Mexico, is situated approximately nine kilometers northeast of the Velardeña Properties and contains the La Cruz-La Rata and El Trovador mines as well as a number of other shallower shafts which were sunk on narrower veins such as the Cantarranas, Montanez and El Jal. The mineralization at San Diego is similar in many respects to that at our Velardeña Properties but appears to contain less gold.