Esperanza is an open-pit, heap leach gold project located in Morelos, Mexico. Typical of our growth assets, Esperanza is a low capital intensity, low cost, and low technical risk project.


Acquired for net cash of $45 million and 7.2 million warrants in August 2013.


Low capital intensity, low technical risk open pit, heap leach project


Expected to produce more than 100,000 ounces of gold per year at lowest quartile all-in sustaining costs.1

Slide table

Esperanza Gold Project

Ownership 100%
Location Morelos, Mexico
Stage Development
Operation Open Pit, heap leach
Commodity Gold & Silver
Project Summary
Average Annual Production oz Au >100,000
Tonnes Grade Contained Ounces
(000) (g/t Au) (g/t Ag) Au Ag
Measured & Indicated Resources 34,352 0.98 8.09 1,083,000 8,936,000
Inferred Resources 718 0.80 15.04 18,000 347,000

Please see 2019 year end Reserves and Resources statement for additional detail.


The Esperanza Gold Project (“Esperanza”) is a development stage asset located in south-central Mexico in the state of Morelos, approximately 110 kilometres ("km") south of Mexico City and 70km north of the multi-mine Guerrero Gold Belt. The project was acquired by Alamos as part of the acquisition of Esperanza Resources in August 2013.

A positive preliminary economic study (“PEA”) was completed on the Esperanza Gold Project (formerly “Cerro Jumil”) in September 2011 which contemplated an open pit, heap leach operation expected to produce over 100,000 ounces of gold annually at cash operating costs1 below $500/oz over an initial 6 year mine life. The Company is working on compiling the requirements for the submission of the project's Environmental Impact Assessment.

Through its Mulatos Mine, Alamos has extensive permitting, development and operating experience in Mexico along with an excellent environmental and social track record. The company looks forward to continuing this success at Esperanza.


Esperanza is located in south-central Mexico in the state of Morelos, approximately 110km south of Mexico City and a 35 minute drive from Cuernavaca, the largest city and capital of the Morelos. The project is comprised of seven adjacent land concessions totaling 15,025 hectares and is situated approximately 70km north of the 15 million ounce multi-mine Guerrero Gold Belt.


The Esperanza Gold Project was acquired as part of the acquisition of Esperanza Resources in August 2013. Alamos paid net cash of approximately C$42 million and issued at total of 7.2 million warrants.

A positive PEA was completed on the project in September 2011. In October 2012, the company entered into a surface rights agreement for land to be used for Esperanza with the communal landowners. The agreement was structured as a surface lease with an initial term of 15 years and allows for continued exploration and development and allows covers substantially all of the land required for the development and operation of the mine.



The Esperanza Gold Project is located within the physiographic province of the Sierra Madre del Sur, an orogenic belt that extends for around 1,100km NW-SE from the South Pacific coast of Mexico. The Esperanza Gold Project is located at the NW corner of the Mixteco Terrene, which emerges in the central part of the Sierra Madre del Sur, between the Caltepec and Teloloapan faults which represent its limits east and west, respectively. The basement of this terrene consists of deformed metamorphic rocks, represented mainly by migmatites, metasediments, metagranitoids and eclogitized ophiolites, which were grouped into the Acatlan complex metamorphic complex of Grenvillian to Early Triassic age.

Mineralization at the Esperanza Gold Project is associated with the intrusion of a stock of Granodiorite composition into the carbonate rocks of Guerrero-Morelos Platform, specifically the rocks of Xochicalco Formation. Spatially related to the intrusive contact with the carbonate rocks are varying degrees of skarn and marble development. The granodioritic stock, locally referred to as a feldspar porphyry, in hand sample presents a porphyritic texture with the development of phenocrysts of plagioclase (~35% in abundance) and potasic feldspar (~30% in abundance) that can reach up to 3cm in size, phenocrysts of quartz (~25%), and euhedral biotite (~10%) in a fine matrix consisting of very fine quartz-plagioclase. In thin section the plagioclase phenocrysts shows moderate alteration to sericite-clays as well as moderate silicification.

Intruded by the granodioritic stock are the limestone of the Xochicalco Formation of Aptian age (early Cretaceous), that have beds of varying thickness from very thin to medium. The color varies from dark grey to black according to the carbonaceous content or organic matter. Another feature of this formation is the abundance of chert bands. Distal to the intrusive contact the Xochicalco Formation is relatively fresh or unchanged usually having a dark grey colouring due to carbonaceous material, is fine-grained, with moderate calcite veinlet’s as stockwork (<1 mm thick) iron oxides in fractures, and occasional breccia texture that might be related to basin collapse.


Primary mineralization consists of gold, and to a lesser extent silver, associated with the skarn zones spatially related to the intrusive. As noted in the paragenetic mineral sequence the sulfides, iron oxides, and gold are directly associated with retrograde activity. Although sulfides are not commonly observed the abundance of iron oxide indicates that their presence was considerable prior to becoming oxidized. Gold values are often associated with jasperoid that appears to have been post-retrograde. Jasperiod can occur along fractures, in veins, and narrow lenses within the limestone or marble. Jasperoid outcrops from 1 metre ("m") to greater than 30m in thickness have been mapped, although core intercepts generally show that much narrower zones, less than 5m, generally exist. Gold assays in jasperoid have produced grades greater than 12g/t but not all jasperoid contains appreciable gold values, although they are generally strong anomalous (>100ppb). The greater thicknesses of jasperoid observed at the surface, versus what is found in drill core, may indicate that the more pervasive silica flooding represents the top of the hydrothermal system during jasperoid development.

Intense argillic and/or potassic alteration (clays) and epidote development is common within the intrusive near the skarn contact. Although locally anomalous gold may be associated with this zone, the values are generally less than 0.5 grams per tonne gold and thus far appear to be of little economic importance.


The 2011 PEA contemplated two scenarios for the project including a base case two-stage crushing option and run of mine direct heap leaching option. The Base Case assumed a conventional open-pit, heap-leach operation using company-owned mining equipment. Mined rock will be hauled to a stock-pile prior to two stages of crushing to reduce the size to a nominal maximum size of 55mm (~ 2”). From there it will be conveyed to the leach pad and irrigated with recovery solutions. Gold will be recovered from pregnant solutions utilizing carbon adsorption, subsequent electrowinning and on-site smelting to produce a doré. This will be shipped off-site for final refining.

The run-of-mine alternative models a direct mine-feed of assumed maximum size of 610 mm (24”). This is directly fed to the heap leach pads without crushing by mine haul trucks. Material is then distributed on the pad by bull dozers. The mine plan and gold recovery process from pregnant solutions is the same as the Base Case alternative.

A feasibility study is underway which will incorporate resource growth since the 2011 PEA and look for potential avenues for optimize the project.

Slide table

Preliminary Economic Study – September 2011
Base Case
Two-Stage crushing
Average Annual Gold Production (000 oz) 103
Cash Operating Costs1 (net of by-products) (US$/oz) $499
Initial Capex (US$ mm) $114
Sustaining Capex (US$ mm) $7
Gold Recoveries % 75
Silver Recoveries % 25
Life of Mine Strip Ratio 2.2:1
Gold Price Assumption (US$/oz) $1,150
Gold Price Assumption (US$/oz) $21
After Tax NPV (5%) (US$ mm) $122
After Tax IRR % 26

Note Preliminary Economic Study does not incorporate resource increase announced September 2012

Technical Information and Cautionary Notes on non-GAAP Measures and Additional GAAP Measures

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Reconciliation of non-GAAP and additional GAAP measures

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Cautionary non-GAAP Measures and Additional GAAP Measures

Note that for purposes of this section, GAAP refers to IFRS. The Company believes that investors use certain non-GAAP and additional GAAP measures as indicators to assess gold mining companies. They are intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared with GAAP.
Additional GAAP measures that are presented on the face of the Company’s consolidated statements of comprehensive income include “Mine operating costs”, “Earnings from mine operations” and “Earnings from operations”. These measures are intended to provide an indication of the Company’s mine and operating performance. “Cash flow from operating activities before changes in non-cash working capital” is a non-GAAP performance measure that could provide an indication of the Company’s ability to generate cash flows from operations, and is calculated by adding back the change in non-cash working capital to “Cash provided by (used in) operating activities” as presented on the Company’s consolidated statements of cash flows. “Free cash flow” is a non-GAAP performance measure that is calculated as cash flows from operations net of cash flows invested in mineral property, plant and equipment and exploration and evaluation assets as presented on the Company’s consolidated statements of cash flows and that would provide an indication of the Company’s ability to generate cash flows from its mineral projects. Return on Equity is defined as Earnings from Continuing Operations divided by the average Total Equity for the current and previous year. “Mining cost per tonne of ore” and “Cost per tonne of ore” are non-GAAP performance measures that could provide an indication of the mining and processing efficiency and effectiveness of the mine. These measures are calculated by dividing the relevant mining and processing costs and total costs by the tonnes of ore processed in the period. “Cost per tonne of ore” is usually affected by operating efficiencies and waste-to-ore ratios in the period. “Cash operating costs per ounce”, “total cash costs per ounce” and “all-in sustaining costs per ounce” as used in this analysis are non-GAAP terms typically used by gold mining companies to assess the level of gross margin available to the Company by subtracting these costs from the unit price realized during the period. These non-GAAP terms are also used to assess the ability of a mining company to generate cash flow from operations. There may be some variation in the method of computation of these metrics as determined by the Company compared with other mining companies. In this context, “cash operating costs per ounce” reflects the cash operating costs allocated from in-process and dore inventory associated with ounces of gold sold in the period. “Cash operating costs per ounce” may vary from one period to another due to operating efficiencies, waste-to-ore ratios, grade of ore processed and gold recovery rates in the period. “Total cash costs per ounce” includes “cash operating costs per ounce” plus applicable royalties. Cash operating costs per ounce and total cash costs per ounce are exclusive of exploration costs. “All-in sustaining costs per ounce” include total cash costs, exploration, corporate and administrative, share based compensation and sustaining capital costs. Non-GAAP and additional GAAP measures do not have a standardized meaning prescribed under IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. For a reconciliation of non-GAAP and GAAP measures, please refer to Alamos’ Managements’ Discussion and Analysis as presented on SEDAR and the Company’s website.

Technical Information

Except as otherwise noted herein, Chris Bostwick, FAusIMM, Alamos Gold’s Vice President, Technical Services, has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this website. Chris Bostwick is a Qualified Person within the meaning of Canadian Securities Administrator’s National Instrument 43-101. For more information, please refer to the Alamos Gold Inc. and AuRico Gold Inc. 2014 Annual Information Forms and the technical reports referenced therein and in this website, available on SEDAR (