We are pleased to announce that we have completed installation of the new crusher, which has already shown itself to be a very beneficial move. Although the changeover put us slightly behind on our annual schedule, in the initial crushing operations we are coming very close to our 500 tons per day goal. It should only get better as the new operator adjusts to the ore and the procedures in loading, transporting and crushing. These activities are the operator’s responsibility, not Clavo Rico’s, which means that not only should we be able to meet our volume goals, but since we only pay the operator per ton processed, then in the event that we don’t meet our crushing goals, then our expenses will proportionately drop to increase the profitability of the entire operation.
In addition to increased volume, one of the benefits of the new crushing operations has been getting the size of the ore crushed from 5/8 inch to 3/8 inch, which translates to a better gold recovery percentage. The result has been that our crushed ore is not only greater in volume but it is also crushed finer in the new process. The initial tests of solution coming off the newly crushed ore reflect that the parts per million of gold in the gold bearing solution is actually higher than we have ever experienced. Although the sample size is relatively small, the results are very encouraging.
Regarding our initiative to further define the ore body to give us a reliable estimate of our reserves, we have had a geologist on site in Honduras examining all of our old drill data, maps and drilling samples to determine what will be necessary to have sufficient data to prepare and publish a formal 43-101 for the financial markets. Samples were taken from various places on the concession and sent to an independent lab for analysis as part of his research, and as a result it may take time to gather all of the data needed for a final determination. After we receive his preliminary report we will determine if he is the geologist that we will formally engage to prepare the 43-101.
Below are some photos of the new crushing and sprinkling operation in action. We look forward to bringing you more news regarding our eventual entry into the public market in our Q1 update in March.