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Costa Rica Map Bellavista is a large, low grade development-stage epithermal gold deposit. Wheaton River Minerals, the operator, has identified a smaller, higher grade, mineable reserve suitable for low cost open pit, heap leach gold production. Canarc owns an 18% carried interest (after payback) and Wheaton River is currently seeking project financing.

Location and Access

Costa Rica, 80 km west of San Jose near the town of Miramar, accessible by truck on the Pan American highway and a mine access road.

Description and Ownership

Several contiguous mineral concessions covering 2000 hectares in the Central Gold Belt, owned by Wheaton River Minerals (approximately 65%) and others. Canarc’s 18% interest is carried whereby Wheaton River must incur all development costs to production, subject to payback from cash flow.

Current Status

Wheaton River is in discussions with financial institutions regarding project financing. Canarc receives pre-production advance royalty payments totaling US $117,750 annually.

Mining History

The Bellavista and Montezuma mines produced small tonnages of gold-silver ore from underground workings at the turn of the century. In the 1980’s, Minera Rayrock acquired a controlling interest and by 1996, had completed US $15 million in exploration work, including a feasibility study. Wheaton River bought out Rayrock’s interest in 1997 and completed additional drilling required for a new feasibility study in 1998.

Deposit Potential

2 million oz. plus, similar geologically to other volcanic-hosted epithermal gold deposits. Wheaton River plans to build a 60,000 oz./year low cost, open pit, heap leach gold mine.


Bellavista is an epithermal gold deposit hosted by volcanic rocks where they are crossent by a major fault zone. Gold is associated with quartz-carbonate stockwork zones surrounded by minor quartz-sericite alteration.


Rayrock outlined mineable reserves and resources totaling 1.96 million oz. contained in 37.4 million tones grading 1.63 gpt, economic at US $400 gold. Wheaton River has identified a smaller proven reserve of 11.2 million tones grading 1.54 gpt for 556,000 oz. (436,000 recoverable oz.) suitable for low cost open pit mining and heap leach processing.


All ores will be mined from one open pit, crushed to 80% minus � inch, higher grade ore will be crushed to 80% minus 65 mesh and agglomerated with the lower grade ore prior to stacking on the heap leach pad. Metallurgical tests indicate gold recoveries of around 79%.

Production Model

The base case production model calls for 60,000 oz./year for 7.3 years at a mill rate of 5,745 tonnes/day at a strip ratio of 1.32:1. Capital costs are estimated at US $28.3 million and operating costs come in at a low US $156 per oz.  

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