Shares in Golden Arrow Resources Corporation (CVE:GRG) (OTCQB:GARWF) have enjoyed a bounce since it announced the start of commercial production at its silver, zinc and lead mine in Argentina around a month ago.
Since then, shares in the Vancouver based firm have added around 40% to where they stand now at $0.335.
It's been a long time in the making but the start of the Chinchillas operation, in Jujuy Province, Argentina ,which was developed with SSR Mining, marks a major milestone for the exploration group.
History of Chinchillas
Golden Arrow discovered the project seven years ago and delineated it between 2012 and 2015 . It is now owned by Puna Operations Inc, which is a joint venture between operator SSR and the firm. Golden Arrow holds 25%, while SSR has the remainder.
The combination of the firm's Chinchillas project with the then Silver Standard Resources Inc's Pirquitas mine just down the road officially got the go-ahead in March, 2017.
The agreement envisioned merging Chinchillas with Pirquitas to extend the life of Pirquitas, which operated as an open pit until early 2017, and provide the infrastructure to fast-track the
development of Chinchillas, at favorable capex costs
A pre-feasibility study was completed and announced in March, 2017 and construction began after the final permit was received at the end of the same year.
As was reported by golden Arrow last year, the operation creates the eighth largest silver mine in the world with an eight-year mine life and output of 8.4 million silver equiValent ounces per year.
In December, Golden Arrow said that ore was being processed at Pirquitas at a rate of 3,000 tonnes per day (tpd), rising to 4,000 tonnes throughout December, with the aim getting to 5,000 tpd.
It will produce around 8 million ounces of silver per year, with 20% of the value coming from the lead and the zinc feed.
Completion of certain infrastructure projects at Chinchillas and Pirquitas is scheduled for the first quarter this year.
More exploration irons in the fire..
Late in 2018, the company, an explorer at its heart, revealed it was expanding the footprint into Chile. It said it would acquire up to 100% of the Indiana gold-copper project - a near term production target and where there is potential to expand the deposit.
That came in the same month, Golden Arrow told investors, it had inked an agreement to acquire the 3,450 hectare Atlantida project, which lies 35 km away.
Indiania is a near surface deposit of high-grade gold and copper and a historic resource, permitted for mining, and there are currently two ramps allowing underground access.
A previous inferred mineral resource showed more than 600,000 ounces of gold equiValent (AuEq) consisting of around 3.093 million tonnes averaging 2.8 g/t (grams per ton) gold and 1.6% copper, at a 4 g/t AuEq cut-off.
Flotation tests have also indicated recoveries of 90% for gold and 92% for copper for sulphide mineralization.
Meanwhile, the 3,450 hectare Atlantida copper-gold project is advanced project which combines mineral rights from two separate owners and includes an extensively drilled copper-gold deposit with an historic resource estimate.
It consists of two separate land packages that Golden Arrow has consolidated into a single project, through signing two agreement.
Previous exploration has occurred at Atlantida, with one particular resource estimate of 427 million tonnes averaging 0.43% copper equiValent.
The resource includes a deep porphyry copper-gold target and a near-surface skarn with higher gold grades which together cover an area of approximately 225 hectares.
Significantly, the firm believes there is potential for further discoveries of similar targets elsewhere on the consolidated Atlantida properties.
In other exploration activity, in September last year, the company hailed a new target identified at its Antofalla silver-gold-base metal project in Argentina from a first diamond drill program.
The work saw 11 holes sunk in the Dome zone and identified a new target at the Cizalla Norte zone consisting of silver and base metal mineralisation.
"We are encouraged by the program results, particularly from this new shear zone which appears to have some similarities to mineralization at Chinchillas," Brian McEwen had said. He is Golden Arrow's vice president of exploration and development.
Golden Arrow is a member of the Grosso Group, a management company specialized in resource exploration, headed up by Joseph Grosso, who has focused on exploration in Argentina since 1993, when mining was opened up to foreign investment.
He was named Argentina's 'Mining Man of The Year' in 2005. He has negotiated with mining industry majors such as Barrick, Teck, Newmont , Viceroy (now Yamana Gold) and Vale S.A., and government officials at all levels.
Geologist McEwen has over three decades' experience and has managed projects in Canada, US, Europe, Asia, Africa and throughout Latin America.