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Renowned mining magnate Rob McEwen is optimistic about Argentina’s economic prospects, citing President Javier Milei’s commitment to fiscal discipline and foreign investment as key drivers for growth.

McEwen recently returned from a trip to Argentina, where he met Milei and engaged in discussions about the country’s economic future. The Canadian mining executive praised Milei’s proactive approach, highlighting his focus on sound economic principles designed to unburden the economy and get Argentina growing.

“I was a fan of Javier Milei before he was elected as President,” remarked McEwen, referring to Milei’s campaign promises to cut red tape and foster economic freedom.

He said there was an “infectious optimism” about Argentina, which boded well for McEwen Mining’s biggest asset, the Los Azules copper project.

“Relaxation of exchange controls is contemplated, and the legislative reforms currently working their way through government are beneficial to large infrastructure projects across many industries, including mining,” McEwen said.

From its creation in 2021 to the end of the first quarter 2024, McEwen Copper has invested more than $230-million in exploration expenditures to advance the Los Azules project. Based on the financings in the fourth quarter, McEwen Copper has an implied market value of $800-million.

McEwen Mining’s ownership of McEwen Copper reduced from 51.9% to 47.7% after the October 2023 financing.

The project could be producing large quantities of green copper cathodes by 2030.

Meanwhile, McEwen Mining reported consolidated gold production of 32 725 gold-equivalent ounces (GEOs) from three operating mines in the first quarter. This compares with 30 400 GEOs in the first quarter of 2023.

During the quarter under review, the Gold Bar mine performed well, achieving a low production cost per ounce owing to the mine sequence being light on waste movements. The Fox Complex grappled with lower-than-expected grades which produced higher than planned cost per ounce, and the San José mine had higher production and lower cost per ounce for the quarter, outperforming its seasonally weaker period.