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Golden Arrow Resources Corp. (TSXV: GRG) — a member of the Gross Group of companies — is placing its precious and base metal exploration assets in Argentina into a new, 100%-owned subsidiary called New Golden Exploration, now that its more advanced Chinchillas silver project headed towards production under a new joint venture agreement with SSR Mining Inc. (TSX: SSRM; NASDAQ: SSRM).

Chinchillas is located in Argentina’s northwesternmost Jujuy province. The project contain 11.7 million proven and probable tonnes grading 154 grams silver per tonne, 1.2% lead and 0.49% zinc for 58 million oz. silver, 310 million lb. lead and 127 million lb. zinc.

Early this decade, Golden Arrow knew it had a strong project but would need to raise a lot of capital to bring it into production. Then, in 2011, SSR (named Silver Standard Resources at the time) found that its Pirquitas silver mine’s reserves were 52% lower than expected. By 2014 the mine had only four years of reserves left.

“I was sitting and reading that they were shutting down,” Golden Arrow President and CEO Joe Grosso recalls in an interview. “We found out that as the crow flies we were 20-30 km away, which in the mining business is nothing — it’s next door.

“I call it the celestial synergy that pushed us together: They had exactly what we needed, and we had exactly what they needed.”

By 2016, SSR was saying that mining Chinchillas as a satellite deposit was its last chance to extend Pirquitas’ mine life.

But the joint venture at Chinchillas between the two companies took two years to consummate. It resulted in Golden Arrow taking a 25% stake in the joint venture company Puna Operations, with SSR owning the remainder and serving as operator.

In essence, the project uses existing SSR infrastructure to fast track Chinchillas into production, with Golden Arrow expecting Puna will start processing Chinchillas ore by the second half of 2018.

“On one side we’ll produce and get cash from production for the next 8-10 years, and on the other side we’re going to continue our very popular and well known exploration program,” Grosso says.

New Golden is now focused on its Antofalla silver-gold property in Catamarca province of northwest Argentina. It’s currently outlining targets, carrying out geophysical surveying and trenching.

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