Comstock Mining has built up a nice, big, contiguous acreage footprint in Nevada's Comstock District and now holds the single largest known repository of historical and current geological data on the district in addition to their consolidated land position, making today's announcement that the company poured their first gold and silver dore bars, totaling some 3,743 ounces smelted from Merrill Crowe precipitate, a real moment for shareholders to be proud of.
This milestone pour signifies a triumphant conclusion to the LODE "March to Production" project, and with the sale of the metal for over $700k ($1,777.25/oz Au and $34.61/oz Ag), a solid revenue stream has been established. Bar assay shows 88.2% Ag with 8.5% gold content and this first spate of pours has thus output some 329 oz Au, with another 3,414 oz of silver.
It's great to see an entire on-site closed loop that goes from mining and hauling all the way through to pouring some metal. At this point the company is merely refining throughput optimization, going to each phase of the crushing, stacking, leaching, processing, filtering, drying, and etc. with an eye to statistical process control implementation. Further refinement of the dore bar for gold and silver bullion is to be handled at a contracted refinery.
In celebration of this momentous occasion, Comstock Mining has held back one dore bar to strike a limited, sequentially numbered run of commemorative one-troy-ounce pieces with a 10 to 1, Ag to Au content, on a first come, first serve basis.
President and CEO of LODE, Corrado DeGasperis, hailed the mining community and stakeholders for their continued support, clearly proud of the company's steadfast march that has led up to the completion of these first pours, confidently proclaiming that safe, efficient, responsible mining has returned to the legendary Comstock. Not only does this historic achievement signify the herculean effort by the company's Nevada team, putting together such a huge land package and the associated analytical knowledge/facilities required to turn it into a fully producing operation, but also that which is struck into the commemorative pieces themselves, a sense of America's return to its roots, pressed into precious metal that was taken directly out of the heart of the Comstock itself.
DeGasperis noted that with this milestone achieved, the company would be turning its primary focus toward maximizing and sustaining throughput from the Lucerne Resource Area mine, with the goal of getting the figure well over the current 1M dry tons per year. This will offer considerable breathing room for the company's operations, as an annual output rate of 20k gold-equivalent ounces and stabilized cash flow enables LODE to look more closely at expanding production levels even further with the approach of 2013. Precious metals are following a very clear trend underwritten further by open-ended quantitative easing, and producers like LODE will be able to chase that curve with what looks like increasing margins, taking shareholders along for the profit ride. Investors are increasingly turning towards the mining sector as a fundamentals-based hedge. Exceptionally propitious timing for Comstock really, reporting their first pour as gold landed its biggest quarterly gain in two years Friday, rallying around QE infinity and a variety of contracting fundamental indicators out of China and Europe.
The company is eagerly acquiring additional prime territory in the district and has set a strategic goal of 3.2M gold-equivalent ounces (measured and indicated or probable and proven) for 2013, in addition to the 20k gold-equivalent ounce annual production rate.
For more information on Comstock Mining, please visit the company's website at: ComstockMining.com
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