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Operations
Operations

Mining

The Sao Francisco mine is an open-pit operation that is designed to send a steady feed of crusher grade ore (“CGO”) to the gravity circuit while dump leach ore (“DLO”) is stock piled until the end of the mine life, when there will be capacity in the plant to crush it and improve the heap leach gold recovery. The improved gold price, the economies of scale achieved by the increased crushing plant throughput, and the enhanced recovery of CGO versus DLO, allows the economical processing of crushing-gravity material with ore grades as low as 0.28 g/t gold. In 2010 (following the acquisition of the operation on May 1, 2010) and for the full year 2011, the Sao Francisco mine processed 2,881,700 tonnes and 3,409,800 tonnes of ore, respectively, with gold production totalling 36,277 ounces and 56,286 ounces, respectively. Gold production in 2012 is targeted to be between 70,000 and 80,000 ounces.