Wharf is an open-pit heap leach operation, owned and operated by Wharf Resources (U.S.A.), Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coeur Mining, Inc. Wharf is located in the northern Black Hills, Lawrence County, South Dakota, approximately 10 kilometers south and west of the city of Lead. The Wharf Operation consists of the American Eagle, Green Mountain, Golden Reward, and Portland Ridgeline pits.
Wharf currently operates as a conventional truck-and-loader heap leach gold mine. The mine has been in continuous operation since 1983 and is expected to continue at planned capacity through 2024.
In-situ ore and waste must be blasted prior to removal. Several historic pits that were partially backfilled are being mined again and the backfilled material is considered rehandle and does not require blasting. Mined ore is either placed in a stockpile or placed directly into the primary crusher and then conveyed to a final product stockpile. Crushed ore is picked up by loaders and placed in trucks to be dumped in 20-foot lifts on one of five heap leach pads. Ore is leached for a specified time and then neutralized and de-nitrified.
Royal Gold holds a 0.0% to 2.0% sliding-scale gross smelter return (GSR) royalty on gold production from Wharf.
Wharf Royalty Schedule:
The GSR royalty rate varies with the gold price as follows:
- 0.0% for a gold price below $350/oz;
- 0.5% for a gold price from $350/oz up to $400/oz;
- 1.0% for a gold price from $400/oz up to $500/oz;
- 2.0% for a gold price above $500/oz.
Royal Gold acquired this royalty interest effective October 1, 2008, as part of the acquisition of a royalty portfolio from Barrick Gold Corporation.
*Detailed information on our interest can be found on the Portfolio Asset Summary table