Golden Minerals owns the Velardeņa Properties in Durango State, Mexico, which 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. Velardeņa operated from September 2011 until June 2013 and from July 2014 through October 2015. The company announced in late October 2015 it would suspend production at Velardeņa due primarily to low silver and gold prices and lower average mill feed grades and gold recoveries than expected, which render operations unprofitable in this price environment. The company wishes to conserve the assets until such time as mining and processing plans and then-current precious metals prices indicate a sustainable positive operating margin at Velardeņa.
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 exploration properties located in or near historical precious metals mining areas in Mexico and Argentina.