McEwen Mining, focused on gold, silver and copper exploration and production in the US, Mexico and Argentina, is currently starting its second mine at its El Gallo mine complex in Mexico. This represents a second source of revenue to contribute to the ongoing growth at El Gallo and the development of its other projects.
McEwen Mining, an exploration and development company based in Toronto, Canada, has an international presence in gold, silver and copper in the United States, Mexico and Argentina. Trading in both the NYSE and the TSX as MUX, Mr. McEwen is developing several projects and is nearly ready for production at their El Gallo mine.
Rob McEwen, the Chairman and Chief Owner of McEwen Mining had quite a bit to share with Metals News during a recent interview. Mr. McEwen stated, “What's new with McEwen Mining? There is lots of good news! We are just starting production at our El Gallo-Phase 1. Our crushing circuit is running close to capacity, we have ore on the heap leach pad and leaching has started. We have completed our 1st two gold pours and we expect to have El Gallo-phase 1 fully commissioned by year end.” As a result of the plant's readiness, Mr. McEwen believes they will be able to see positive production results shortly. He said, “We expect to produce about 10,000 ounces in the balance of this year and thereafter producing at an annual rate of 30,000 ounces of gold.”
The next steps for McEwen Mining include additional construction of El Gallo-Phase 2. Mr. McEwen said, “The permitting process is underway and we hope to have all of our permits to mine by mid-next year. Once we have the permits, we plan to start construction immediately and expect to complete it by mid-2014.”
Progress is also being made in Mr. McEwen's other international properties. Mr. McEwen said, “In Argentina, we are seeing some positive developments. Some confusing government decrees that adversely impacted the mining industry have been amended to reflect economic reality. The result for us is positive. We are, once again, able to receive dividends from our 49% interest in the San Jose mine. These funds will be used to explore our properties in Argentina. “At Los Azules, our large copper project, we have already started our exploration season, some 45 days early. This year we will be using larger drills, capable of reaching greater depths, to follow up on high grade intercepts of 1% copper. Our objective is to expand our already sizeable copper deposit.” said Mr. McEwen. In southern Argentina, we have recently received our exploration permit to drill on a property that is adjacent to Goldcorp’s Cerro Negro property. Our exploration objective is to test for extensions on our property of their high-grade silver-gold mineralization.
Finally, McEwen Mining's US projects are located in the gold rich state of Nevada. Our most advanced project is called Gold Bar. It was a former producing mine. We have completed a prefeasibility study that projected attractive returns, on low capex. Gold Bar is in the permitting process that we expect to be completed in late 2014. Construction will follow in 2015. When built Gold Bar is forecast to produce 50,000 ounces of gold annually.
I am excited about our strong production growth. We are forecasting our precious metal production to expand three fold between this year and end of 2015.
Rob McEwen sees the gold price going much higher and significantly stronger prices for gold equities. Once the November Presidential election is behind us, I expect the gold and silver price to perform well.
”Regarding the future of the mining industry, McEwen sees consolidation as part of the near term because, “there are a large number of companies with limited access to capital, right now.
There is just a big gap between gold and gold shares. Shares are just more affordable than bullion.” Though other companies are struggling with financing, McEwen Mining is in an enviable position. They don't need a large amount of funding to continue exploration. Though McEwen Mining will not be doing a traditional funding in order to continue their operations, they will be using another instrument to raise money. Mr. McEwen said, “We will be doing a right to shares to continue exploration at a quick pace.”
In addition to McEwen's work with his mining company, he and his wife, Cheryl, are generous supporters of healthcare and education. He said, “We funded the establishment of McEwen Center for Regenerative Medicine in 2003. The tag line for our Centre is “Collaborate, Create, Cure.” Its mission is to be a catalyst for regenerative medicine by facilitating collaboration, supporting research, and promoting awareness of the field.
The centre includes 15 scientists at five Toronto hospitals, as well as the University of Toronto. Currently, these scientists are working to accelerate the development of more effective treatments for conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and spinal cord injury. The McEwen Centre is supported by philanthropic contributions and research grants, and is based at University Health Network in Toronto, Canada.
It collaborates with many other research institutions throughout North America, Europe and the Asia/Pacific region.
In June, my wife and I went to Japan to attend the International Society of Stem Cell Research conference. The Emperor and Empress of Japan came and addressed the conference. Afterwards we had the honor of meeting their Royal Highnesses. It was so inspirational to see these important heads of state saying that this is good science and that they support it. We need more world leaders to be doing the same because healthcare costs will become unmanageable without new solutions. Our hope is Regenerative Medicine will be part of the solution and our Centre contributing in some way to make it happen faster.
Just this last weekend, we received some fantastic news. I am delighted to say the recipient of the 2011 McEwen Award for Innovation in Stem Cell Research was Shinya Yamanaka of Japan. He was one of the 2 winners of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Medicine.
McEwen Mining has copper, gold and silver interests focused in the Americas. In the short term, there is production growth and multiple opportunities for McEwen Mining to expand their precious metal resources. Rob McEwen plans to build McEwen Mining to a size and strength that qualifies it for inclusion in the S&P 500 Index by the end of 2015. At the same time, He and his wife are supporting leading edge medical research to find cures for some of the most pressing diseases. Life is good!