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El Gallo

About El Gallo

Located in Mexico

The El Gallo Complex is located in Mexico’s Sinaloa State, along the foothills of the Sierra Madres. McEwen Mining announced the initial silver and gold discovery holes from El Gallo in November 2008. The Complex includes the El Gallo and Palmarito silver deposits and the Magistral gold deposit, located within a 13 km (8 mile) radius.

The El Gallo Mine, which achieved first gold pour in September 2012 and commercial production in January 2013, operated until May 2018 as an open pit with crushing and heap leach processing, at a capacity of 4,500 tonnes of ore per day.

From 2012 to 2018 El Gallo produced 279,000 ounces of gold and 134,000 ounces of silver. As mining and crushing activities ceased in Q2 2018, contractor equipment has been demobilized from the mine site, followed by residual heap leaching, that will continue to produce gold for several years.

About Diagram About Diagram

Latest Annual Production

2018 Production

Estimates Silver
Au Oz
Estimates Gold
Ag Oz
Big Land

Production at El Gallo

From its beginnings in 2012 until 2017, the El Gallo Mine produced 240 thousand gold ounces and 125 thousand silver ounces. During Q2 2018 mining and crushing activities at El Gallo ceased and contractor equipment has been demobilized from the mine site. Onsite operations continued through residual heap leaching throughout the remainder of 2018.

In 2018 El Gallo produced 38,984 ounces of gold and 9,145 ounces of silver. Using a 75:1 gold-to-silver ratio, this represents 39,106 gold equivalent ounces, beyond the company's 2018 production guidance of 32,000 gold equivalent ounces. Mine demobilization in May brought diminishing operating expenses, with gold production declining more gradually, resulting in an overall reduction in cost per ounce produced for the balance of the year. For the nine months ending September 30, 2018, El Gallo costs realized per gold equivalent ounce were $709 total cash costs and $752 all-in sustaining costs.

Closure and reclamation at El Gallo are ongoing and residual heap leaching activities will continue to produce gold for several years. At the same time, our El Gallo Complex team is working on an exciting new project, Fenix. To find out information about project Fenix please visit its page here.

Gold pille

El Gallo Heap Leach Pad


84,000 oz Au


101,000 oz Au



New deposits of the same low sulfidation, epithermal style are most likely to be found where the potassic alteration occurs in favourable andesite.

District Model Figure 1

McEwen Mining recently put together a new district-scale prospecting model, which largely ties together all the known deposits in the area.

The deposits at Palmarito, El Gallo Mine and El Gallo Silver are characterized by being proximal to a large, outcropping granodiorite intrusive body, shown in light pink in the geological map of Figure 1. From an airborne geophysical study done in 2011, we know that this intrusion is partly surrounded by areas of variably intense potassic alteration, with the more intense alteration represented in dark pink patches in Figure 1. The expectation is that the next prospective areas in the district are likely to be found in these areas of stronger potassic alteration in between the two ellipses shown on the map.

The map highlights the locations of the known resource areas at El Gallo, Palmarito and El Gallo Silver and the exploration areas of the El Encuentro and Texcalama projects to the northwest.

Outside of this area, the known Mina Grande project in the northeast is close to the same intrusive body, however in this location the intrusion is buried, but the area is still characterised by similar alteration patterns and lends itself to a high degree of prospectivity.

The mineralized bodies previously identified at the El Gallo Silver and Mina Grande areas are not the traditionally steeply dipping veins characteristic of the low-sulfidation epithermal deposits found elsewhere in Mexico, but are relatively shallow dipping (approximately 20⁰) breccia sheets. As well as the deposits being related to the intrusive body, they also show characteristics of typical IOCG (iron-oxide-copper-gold) deposits, which can be very large and very high in grade. Similarities include the very strong potassium alteration seen in the airborne radiometric surveys that is also seen in our drill cores, the fact that the principal ore mineral at the El Gallo Mine is specular hematite (an iron oxide mineral), and the fact that at El Gallo Silver and Mina Grande we see these sheet-like breccia bodies, which are relatively parallel to the underlying intrusions.


The 2016 exploration budget for Mexico was $3 million. Exploration drilling at the El Gallo Complex has been concentrated primarily on three prospective areas; one area called Encuentro South has returned particularly encouraging results at shallow depths. Highlights are summarized on the right:

Hole ID Gold
Grade (gpt)
Width (m)
ENX-032 9.59 9.1
including 126.50 0.5
and 2.94 38.2
including 27.30 1.2
ENX-043 7.82 5.4
including 28.70 1.1
ENX-009 16.09 2.1
ENX-041 16.27 1.9
ENX-051 1.30 19.5
and 6.13 4.8
ENX-019 1.85 15.2
including 3.99 5.0
ENX-021 1.66 12.7

Encuentro South is located 7 miles (11 km) southwest of the El Gallo Mine. The project area lies on an important 4 mile (7 km) long, regional NW-SE mineral trend that also hosts two of our other exploration targets (Las Milpas and Twin Domes). Extensive exploration along this trend has identified favorable alteration signatures and abundant anomalous gold and silver mineralization in surface rock and soil samples.

A total of 51 core holes (8,980 metres) have been drilled in the project area, with 42 of those (7,522 metres) at the Encuentro South prospect. Initial interpretations indicate that the favourable gold assays occur in at least three distinct zones that are either shallow dipping NW, or sub-vertical NS structures and are still open along strike and at depth. Mineralization has been identified from surface to a depth of 130 metres. The known length (or strike) of the zone is approximately 230 metres. For full results of the recently drilled holes at Encuentro South see Table 1 here.

Mineralization at Encuentro South is characterized primarily by structurally controlled, multi-event quartz breccias and stockwork zones hosted by propolytically altered meta-andesites. Minor silicification and hematisation alteration is also seen locally. The mineralization is considered to be of the low-sulphidation, epithermal style as seen elsewhere on the property. Very early stage test results show that the gold mineralization at Encuentro South is potentially amenable to heap leaching.

The information on this page was derived from:

(1) A presentation by Hall Stewart, Consulting Geologist at McEwen Mining’s Annual Meeting from May 31, 2016. To access the video presentation, click here.

(2) A news release titled "McEwen Mining Reports Q3 Production, Mexico Exploration Drill Results" released on October 13, 2016 by McEwen Mining. To access the news release click here.

For additional technical information on the El Gallo Complex, see a report titled "Resource Estimate for the El Gallo Complex, Sinaloa State, Mexico" with an effective date of June 30, 2013. The report was prepared by John Read, C.P.G., and Luke Willis, P. Geo. Both Mr. Read and Mr. Willis are not considered independent of the Company as defined in Section 1.5 of NI 43-101. To access the report click here.

Cautionary Note

This website contains certain forward-looking statements and information and investors are encouraged to review our "Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statement".