Mesquite Mine

Mesquite Mine is a gold mining operations from New Gold,  located in Imperial County, California. The Mesquite gold mining operation acquired in June 2009 as a result of a successful business combination with Western Goldfields Inc ( “WGI).  Before the merger, WGI acquired the Mesquite Mine from Newmont Mining Corporation in 2003.  Feasibility study completed in 2006 and Commercial production in Mesquite mine started January 2008.

The Company became the owner of the Mesquite Mine in 2009 following the Western Goldfields Business Combination. The mine is operated by the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Western Mesquite Mines, Inc. (“WMMI”).

Currently, the major assets and facilities associated with the Mesquite Mine are:
  • Mineral resources and reserves in the Cholla, Big Chief, Rainbow, Vista and North Big Chief deposits.
  • The physical plant site including heap leach pads, process plant, workshops, warehouses, office buildings and drying equipment.
  • Facilities providing basic infrastructure to the mine, including electric power, heat, water treatment and supply, and sewage treatment.
  • Mine infrastructure including open pits, ramps, maintenance shops, and mobile equipment fleet.

Location Mesquite Mine

The Mesquite Mine is located in Imperial County, in Southern California, United States, 39 kilometers (24 miles) north of the Mexican border and 26 kilometers (16 miles) west of the border with the State of Arizona. Access to the property is a good quality roads. Local resources are in the cities of Brawley, California and Yuma, Arizona, at a distance from the mine of 56 kilometers (35 miles) and 84 kilometers (52 miles).

The mineral rights to the Mesquite mine a total area of ​​approximately 1,890 hectares (4,670 acres). They consist of 212 unpatented and 53 patented mining lode claims, 122 patented and 97 unpatented mill site claims, 266.3 hectares (658 acres) of California state leased land and 127.5 hectares (315 acres)  of fee lands.

History Of Mesquite Mine

Felizario Parra discovered gold in April 1876, worked placers until 1880, and sold out for $3000.00. Dry washing of low grade ores continued intermittently for 100 years, along with many exploratory shafts. From 1957 to 1980, Dick and Anna Singer mined, recorded earlier efforts, made studies, and sold their findings to Gold Fields Mining Corporation. After investing 70 million in exploration, development and construction, Gold Fields began full-scale production in March 1986.

The production reached 207,897 ounces of gold in 1992. It was expected that began this production rate would be maintained until 1999 when the mine would be exhausted.  Gold Fields and Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corporation, which has hired approximately 300 people contributed greatly to operate public and private needs and with full environmental problems until it was acquired by New Gold Inc. In 2001, the mine closed due a fall in gold prices, but it was reopened in 2007.

Geology & mineralization
The Mesquite district lies on the southwest flank of the Chocolate mountains in the upper plate of a regional scale shift. The host rocks are a fragment of Precambrian and Mesozoic continental crust with a very complex structure and metamorphic history, largely pre-dates the Oligocene age gold mineralization is mined today.  

The Mesquite Mine includes a number of gold deposits localized along two sub-parallel zones of northwesterly trending faults that. A sequence of gneiss host rocks imprints and locally invading granites much of the Mesquite district is covered by a veneer of unconsolidated post-mineral sand and gravel deposits that vary from several tens of meters in thickness. 

The gold mineralization at Mesquite has been deposited in an epithermal setting,  within 150 to 300 metres of the paleo-surface subsequent to amphibolite grade metamorphism. The bulk of the gold mineralization occurs as disseminations and along a northwesterly trending system of moderately steep developed venous faults and fractures dips.

Gold occurs primarily as native gold, ranging in size from very coarse disseminations submicron. Since the start of commercial production in 1985, the Mesquite Mine has more than 4 million ounces of gold. 

Exploration Potential

The Mesquite Mine achieved commercial production in 2008 with most of the exploration work carried out by New Gold’s predecessors. Since acquiring the Mine in 2009, the company has conducted a series of drilling campaigns to explore potential extensions to the known ore bodies and to upgrade resource classification to support future mine planning. New Gold continues to conduct periodic exploration and delineation drilling campaigns to support ongoing reserves development and mine planning.

Minerals Processing In Mesquite Mine
The Mesquite Mine is an open pit operation. Mining is carried out with a conventional truck / shovel open pit method. Run-of-mine ore is hauled directly to the leach pad for processing. Mineral ore processing is by heap leaching in a carbon-in column circuit test about 92% gold. Process recoveries are determined by oxidation. Ultimate Gold recovery for the mine reserves and life of mine production plan based on 75% recovery of oxide ores and gravel and 35% recovery of the non-oxide ores. Doré is from the site shipped a major refiner, where the gold and silver refined bullion. Gold is then sold to bullion banks on the spot market, outturned than at the refinery.

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