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Goldcorp (GG) Achieves First Gold at Pyrite Leach Project

Goldcorp Inc. GG recently declared that it has achieved first gold at Penasquito's Pyrite Leach Project. Notably, commissioning of the project started in the third quarter of 2018 and is now processing 100% of the existing plant tailings. The company expects to achieve commercial production by the end of 2018.

The project is expected to recover roughly 35% of the gold and 42% of the silver currently reporting to the tailings. Moreover, it is expected to add more than 1 million ounces of gold and 45 million ounces of silver over the current life of the mine. Tails from the new plant will report to the current tailings storage facility.

Goldcorp also stated that as the plant is ramped-up to attain design recovery, there will be optimization of the circuit chemistry and regrind performance. The Carbon Pre-flotation circuit ("CPP") is integral to the performance of the existing plant and the project. CPP was commissioned in the second quarter of 2018 per schedule. The circuit has now treated six million tons of high-carbon ore and exceeding initial performance expectations.

Per the company, the completion of the CPP de-risks stockpile material and boosts flexibility to sequence ores. Also, it has the ability to process the complex organic carbon ore types remaining in the reserves. CPP achieved commercial production on Oct 1, 2018. The CPP circuit comprises three stages of flotation to eliminate organic carbon from the cyclone overflow prior to the existing lead flotation circuit.

Moreover, Goldcorp stated that the Pyrite Leach plant is operating 24 hours per day. The planned ramp-up process is also underway. It was a major investment decision for the company and one of the first projects that went through the company’s Investment Framework. Goldcorp is progressing with the post investment review as it continues to improve framework and overall capital allocation strategy.
Among the key highlights, the project has been delivered with Zero Lost Time Incidents (LTIs), more than 9.5 million site-hours and an Industry-Leading All Injury Frequency Rate (AIFR) of 0.09. Moreover, 100% of the construction was done by Mexican workforce. Also, commissioning was achieved two quarters ahead of schedule at 9% below budget.

Shares of Goldcorp have lost 33% in the past six months compared with the industry’s 13.7% decline.



Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Goldcorp currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

A few better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space include CF Industries Holdings, Inc. CF, Methanex Corporation MEOH and The Mosaic Company MOS, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

CF Industries has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 6%. The company’s shares have gained 14.3% in the past year.

Methanex has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 15%. Its shares have moved up 2.7% in a year’s time.

Mosaic has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 7%. The company’s shares have surged 51.9% in the past year.

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