Golden Minerals Projects and Properties
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. The company suspended mining and sulfide processing activities at Velardeņa in November 2015 due primarily to low silver and gold prices and lower average mill feed grades and gold recoveries than expected, which resulted in continuing net operating losses. The company intends 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, or until we are able to locate, acquire and develop alternative mineral sources that could be economically mined and transported to the Velardeņa Properties for processing. The Properties contain a sulfide mill, an oxide mill (currently leased to a third party) and ample equipment that may be used to support nearby exploration and development activities.
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 projects located in or near historical precious metals mining areas in Mexico. These projects include San Luis del Cordero in Durango State (in which we have acquired the right to mine the Santa Rosa vein), the Santa Maria silver and gold mine in Chihuahua State, the Rodeo and Rodeo 2 claims in Durango State, and the Celaya properties located in Guanajuato State.