Golden Minerals owns mining operations in Durango State, Mexico. The Velardeña Properties were acquired in September 2011 and contain a significant high-grade silver and gold resource with lead and zinc base metals, and the resource remains open at depth. Velardeña operated from September 2011 until June 2013, at which time production was suspended subsequent to the sharp drop in precious metals prices. Between June 2013 and June 2014, Golden Minerals conducted an extensive review and evaluation of the Properties which included a 9,000-meter drill program that concluded in June 2014. We recommenced mining activities at the Velardeña Properties in July 2014 and began processing material from the Velardeña mine in November 2014. We are primarily focused on efforts to optimize mining and processing activities at Velardeña in order to achieve positive net cash flows from the Velardeña Properties.
Further production potential comes from the Advanced Exploration stage El Quevar project in the Salta Province of Argentina, a 100 percent-controlled, 55,000-hectare silver project with District potential. Golden believes El Quevar's drill results to date indicate the possibility of a new emerging silver district. We have placed El Quevar on care and maintenance and continue to reduce holding costs until we secure a partner with whom to further advance the project.
In addition, Golden controls a portfolio of roughly 30 exploration properties located in or near historical precious metals mining areas in Mexico and Argentina.