VANCOUVER — Nearly six years ago Torex Gold Resources (TSX: TXG; US-OTC: TORXF) began to consolidate a promising claim block 180 km southwest of Mexico City — called Morelos Norte — via a US$150 million deal with Teck Resources (TSX: TCK.B; NYSE: TCK). Since then the company has authored one of the few recent success stories in the gold space, and now stands poised to hit commercial production at its El Limon-Guajes (ELG) open-pit mine in the second quarter.
The achievement is even more notable since Torex could be viewed as one of the final chapters in the previous bull-run in commodities markets. The company raised around US$800 million via debt and equity to build a bulk-tonnage gold mine at Morelos, and saw its market capitalization jump from roughly US$400 million to over US$1 billion since mid-2010.
On Dec. 29 Torex announced its first gold pour from the ELG deposits, and president and CEO Fred Stanford spoke with The Northern Miner to reflect on the company’s path to production.
“I think the best word to describe the experience would be: adventure. I’d say our timing was definitely fortuitous in terms of the market. We completed our equity raises fairly early in the process, where I think normally people tend to complete the debt portion first and the equity second,” Stanford said.
“We’re clearly blessed with a top-notch asset and a team that has a track-record of executing on plan and delivering. Our focus has been on very strong engineering up front, and we don’t change scope. So there’s been that drive to get it right the first time and then build it to that specification. We’ve been quite committed to our mine design for quite some time,” he added.
The ELG operations will involve two independent open pits to extract ore from the skarn-hosted gold-silver Guajes and El Limón deposits. The pits will feed a centrally-located, 14,000 tonnes per day carbon-in-pulp process plant (CIP), with dry stack tailings deposited just to the west of the mill facility.
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