GOLDEN, Colo., Dec. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Golden Minerals Company ("Golden Minerals" or the "Company") (NYSE MKT: AUMN) (TSX: AUM) today announces its initial operational performance for the Velardena mine restart in order to update the Company's June 18, 2014 news release. The Company restarted mining operations at Velardena on July 1, 2014 and milling operations on November 3, 2014.
Mining has been conducted on the San Mateo and Terneras vein systems as planned. The Company has mined additional material from the Santa Juana vein system to augment grades as mining and processing rates ramp up. Grades are improving as more slusher stopes are put into production on the San Mateo and Terneras vein systems and the inventory of lower grade material resulting from stope construction is depleted. Based on the grades recovered to date during the restart of mining operations at Velardena, the Company now anticipates grades averaging approximately ten percent lower for both gold and silver than previously anticipated due to additional mining dilution.
Milling rates have averaged 204 tonnes per day in November 2014 and 280 tonnes per day in December 2014. Grades were low in November 2014 as material from stope access drifts and raises was processed to test plant circuits that were refurbished as part of the restart. Average grades in November were 1.3 grams per tonne gold and 109 grams per tonne silver with silver equivalent production estimated to be 25,000 ounces which is exclusive of process inventory in the circuit that required build up. For the first 20 days of December 2014, the mill averaged 280 tonnes per day at average grades of 1.7 grams per tonne gold and 114 grams per tonne silver.
The Company has commissioned an independent third party to produce a Preliminary Economic Analysis ("PEA") in respect of Velardena. This PEA is anticipated to be complete by the end of February and the Company expects at that time to provide production guidance for 2015.
About Golden Minerals
Golden Minerals is a Delaware corporation based in Golden. The Company is primarily focused on operations at its Velardena Properties, the advancement of its El Quevar advanced exploration project, and the exploration of properties in Mexico and Argentina.
The Company cautions that, as of the date hereof, it has not based its production decision on a PEA or on any feasibility study of mineral reserves demonstrating economic and technical viability and, as a result, there may be an increased uncertainty of achieving any particular level of recovery of minerals or regarding the cost of such recovery. Historically, projects that proceed to production without a feasibility study have a much higher risk of economic and technical failure. Failure to achieve the anticipated production rates and costs could have a materially adverse impact on the Company's cash flows and future profitability. In addition, the Company's production decision was not based on mineral reserves and the Company cautions that mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act and applicable Canadian securities legislation, including statements regarding mining and processing activities at the Velardena Properties, including anticipated gold and silver grades of mined and processed material, anticipated dilution, the planned preparation and timing of completion of a PEA, and the anticipated timing of providing production guidance for 2015. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including: changes in geological, geostatistical and other interpretations of the information from drill programs and mining experience; reliability of metallurgical testing results and changes in interpretation; unfavorable interpretations of geologic information; delays or problems in mining or processing or the ramp-up of same at the Velardena Properties; mining or processing problems; mining and processing costs in excess of those anticipated; unexpected variations in mineral grades, types and metallurgy; fluctuations in relevant metal prices; technical, permitting, mining, metallurgical, recovery or processing issues; problems that delay or reduce underground mine and stope construction; operational changes or problems; failure of mined material to meet expectations; failure of veins mined to meet expectations; delays in completing the PEA or in providing guidance regarding 2015 production; fluctuations in silver, gold, zinc and lead prices, costs and general economic conditions; changes in political conditions, in tax, environmental and others laws in Mexico, and financial market conditions. Golden Minerals assumes no obligation to update this information. Additional risks relating to Golden Minerals may be found in the periodic and current reports filed with the Securities Exchange Commission by Golden Minerals, including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013.
For additional information please visit http://www.goldenminerals.com/ or contact:
Golden Minerals Company
Director of Investor Relations
SOURCE Golden Minerals Company