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