Key Facts

Production Started: 2005
Mining Method: Open Pit
Processing Technology: Heap Leach Plant (Merrill Crowe and Carbon-in-Column)
Expected Mine Life: 22 years

Lagunas Norte is a traditional open-pit truck-shovel heap leach operation located in the District of Quiruvilca in the Province of Santiago de Chuco and the Department of La Libertad, in northern Peru. The mine site is located 141 km east of the coastal city of Trujillo.

Operations include open pit mining of gold-silver ore, crushing, and extraction of precious metals using heap leaching, Merrill Crowe, and carbon-in-column (CIC) recovery. The mine has been in continuous production since March 2005 and up until June 2021, the mine was operated by Barrick Gold Corporation, and has produced over 10 Moz of gold.

Lagunas Norte Gold Mine Site Tour

Lagunas Norte NI 43-101 Technical Report Highlights

The Technical Report dated December 1, 2021 is completed by SLR International Corporation and provides further information on the Lagunas Norte development projects' Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve estimates, expected grades and recoveries, development plans, mining methods, and metrics including strip ratio, recovery process, and production expectations including expected cash flows, capital cost estimates and expected life-of-mine operating costs.

The updated Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource has been estimated at 25.6 Mt grading 0.80 g/t Au and 2.65 g/t Ag, containing 663 koz of gold and 2.1 Moz silver. The Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves including existing stockpiles scheduled for processing, total 49.4 Mt at a grade of 2.49 g/t Au and 6.24 g/t Ag, containing 4.0 Moz of gold and 9.9 Moz of silver.

Economic Highlights of the Technical Report include:

Base Case (Secondary Leaching + CMOP + PMR)

  • Mine life of 22 years based on existing Mineral Reserve Estimate
  • Gold price assumption US$1,650 per ounce of gold
  • After-tax Net Present Value (NPV): US$450 Million at 5% discount rate
  • After-tax Internal Rate of Return (IRR): 25.3% 
  • After-tax Free Cash Flow: US$967 Million
  • Average LOM Annual Gold Production: 147 koz Au
  • Average All-in Sustaining Cost: US$885/oz Au

SLR also did a sensitivity analysis of a case without the PMR expansion.

Alternative Case (Secondary Leaching + CMOP)

  • Mine life of 8 years based on existing Mineral Reserve Estimate
  • Gold price assumption US$1,650 per ounce of gold
  • After-tax Net Present Value (NPV): US$300 Million at 5% discount rate
  • After-tax Internal Rate of Return (IRR): 82.6%
  • After-tax Simple Payback Period: 1.3 Years
  • After-tax Free Cash Flow: US$395 Million
  • Average All-in Sustaining Cost: US$674/oz Au