Question: Can you provide a more detailed update on production?
Answer: Thank you for the question and yes, we have provided a detailed update in this blog, including many pictures and a short video of some of the production start-up activity from just this past week.
Comstock Mining Process Area - March 2012 Video
The video presented here requires Adobe Flash Player to view.
Since we received our “Air Quality Operating Permit to Construct” last month, we have made tremendous progress in our march toward production. These scheduled tasks include hiring the mining and processing staff, completion of the soil sampling program and clearance, installation of a fresh water reservoir, updating the septic system, preparing the Lucerne mine for stripping, expanding the heap leach pad, installing the crusher, expanding the Merrill Crowe processing facility, constructing a fueling station, receiving the new metallurgical lab and procuring fuel, lubricants and spare parts.
We are hiring twenty mine and processing staff, in two phases. The first eight employees are scheduled to start on April 20, augmenting the mine operations team, including heavy equipment operators, and the next twelve employees, in May, for processing operations, including crushing, blasting and Merrill Crowe and metallurgical process staff.
We have completed the soil sampling for the mine and are awaiting final clearance for production. Once received, our mine operations team will commence preparation and stripping. We are currently installing the foundation and liner for our expanded Merrill Crowe facility. The new, expanded Merrill Crowe equipment is ready for shipment once the foundation and liner are completed. In addition, we have commenced construction of a new, one million gallon fresh water reservoir that we will fill and replenish from our existing water wells that will supply our commercial water and fire safety needs. We have received all major components of the crushing facility, including the jaw and cone crusher, the super stacker, conveyors and related components on site. We are scheduled to commence ground preparation for installation of the crusher next week.
American Flat Processing Area (November 2011)
Over the last few months, our team has been preparing for production by constructing the solution pond, expanding and upgrading the heap leach, and Merrill Crowe facility.
Solution pond lining installation Existing Merrill Crowe Facility
Completed 3 million gallon+ solution pond with protective bird discs inside fenced enclosure
Significantly expanding the Merrill Crowe foundation for the larger processing facility (March 2012)
Water well drilling for mine site
Clearing access for fresh water pond (March 2012)
Preparing the leach field for new septic system (March 2012)
Moving rip rap for drainage ditch
Preparing the heap leach pad for new cell construction
The sequence of these major activities includes commencing preparation and stripping in the Lucerne mine, completing the fresh water reservoir, expanding the heap leach, installing the crushing facility, crushing and stacking material. Once material is stacked, we will commence processing with an expectation of pouring Doré within sixty days of stacking the first material.
Rolling stock of 773 series haul trucks
Delivery of wobbler feeder for crusher
Our drilling programs for Lucerne and Dayton should position us for growth in ounces and production, in 2013, and beyond.
Geotech core drilling in Lucerne Resource Geotech core drilling on high wall at Lucerne Resource
Geotech core drilling continues day and night
We also completed our financial analysis for the Lucerne mine and anticipate annual operating expenses, including mining, processing, royalties and mine administration costs of approximately $13 million per annum, with a production schedule that commences processing at a rate of one million tons per annum. These mining, processing and related costs do not include corporate administration or other general and administrative costs, nor do they include exploration and mine development costs.
There is a tremendous amount of positive activity throughout the system as we execute our production schedule and march toward the first pour this summer.
Corrado De Gasperis
Statements contained in this blog, which are not historical facts, including statements about plans, goals and expectations regarding businesses and opportunities, new or existing business strategies, capital resources and future financial results are "forward looking" as contemplated by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, changes in government regulation, generally accepted accounting principles, taxation, competition, general economic conditions and geopolitical conditions. Accordingly, actual results may differ materially from those projected or implied in the forward-looking statements.