Argentina-Cerro Vanguardia Mine

From Silver Hall of Fame
Cerro Vanguardia Mine
Cerro Vanguardia Mine is located in Argentina
Cerro Vanguardia Mine
Cerro Vanguardia Mine
Location in Argentina
LocationPuerto San Julián
ProvinceSanta Cruz
Coordinates48°23′09″S 068°15′49″W / 48.38583°S 68.26361°W / -48.38583; -68.26361Coordinates: 48°23′09″S 068°15′49″W / 48.38583°S 68.26361°W / -48.38583; -68.26361
ProductionGold: 208,000 oz
Silver: 2,200,000 oz
Financial year2009
CompanyAngloGold Ashanti 92.5%
Formicruz 7.5%
WebsiteAngloGold Ashanti website
Formicruz website

The Cerro Vanguardia Mine is a gold and silver mine located 150 km north west of Puerto San Julián, in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina. It is majority-owned and operated by AngloGold Ashanti, which holds a 92.5% interest in the mine [1]. The remaining 7.5% are owned by Formicruz (Fomento Minero de Santa Cruz Sociedad del Estado), a company owned by the province of Santa Cruz.[1]

In 2008, the mine contributed 3% to the company's annual production and employs in excess of 1,000 people. The Cerro Vanguardia mine consists of a number of small open pits.[1]

Geologically the mine lies in Deseado Massif, an area known for its valuable gold deposits.[2]


The gold deposit at Cerro Vanguardia was first discovered in 1976 and, in 1987, mining group Pérez Companc S.A. formed a mineral exploration joint venture with AMSA, Anglo American’s South American holding company.[3]

AngloGold, predecessor of AngloGold Ashanti, acquired a 46.23% interest in the project in 1998–99, and an additional 46.25%, the Pérez Companc stake, in July 2002, doubling its interest to 92.5%. AngloGold Ashanti owns the right to exploit the

deposit for 40 years based on the Usufruct Agreement, signed in December 1996. Cerro Vanguardia, which was constructed at a total cost of US$ 270 million, was commissioned in late 1998.[4]

The mine suffered a difficult year in 2008, when production fell by 25% while the cash cost more than doubled.[1] The company did however manage to improve production in 2009 and lower the cash cost again. In 2009, the mine was also fatality-free for the seventh consecutive year.[5]

Future mining plans at Cerro Vanguardia include an underground operation, from 2010, and a heap leach operation.[5]

Gold production

Recent production figures of the mine were:

Year Production (oz) Grade Cost per ounce
2003 [6] 226,000 7.15 g/t US$ 143
2004 [6] 229,000 7.60 g/t US$ 156
2005 [6] 228,000 7.70 g/t US$ 171
2006 [7] 232,000 7.29 g/t US$ 225
2007 [5] 220,000 6.8 g/t US$ 261
2008 [5] 166,000 5.44 g/t US$ 608
2009 [5] 208,000 6.51 g/t US$ 355


  1. ^ a b c AngloGold Ashanti: Country report Argentina accessed: 14 July 2010
  2. ^ Echavarría, Leandro E.; Shalamuk, Isidoro B.; Etcheverry, Ricardo O. (2005). "Geologic and tectonic setting of Deseado Massif epithermal deposits, Argentina, based on El Dorado-Monserrat". Journal of South American Earth Sciences. 19 (4): 415–432.
  3. ^ Cerro Vanguardia Gold and Silver Mine, Argentina, accessed: 14 July 2010
  4. ^ AngloGold annual Report 2003 AngloGold Ashanti website, accessed: 14 July 2010
  5. ^ a b c d e Annual Report 2009 Archived 2011-09-12 at the Wayback Machine AngloGold Ashanti website, accessed: 9 May 2010
  6. ^ a b c Annual Report 2005 Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine AngloGold Ashanti website, accessed: 11 July 2010
  7. ^ Annual Report 2006 Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine AngloGold Ashanti website, accessed: 11 July 2010

External links