Salares Norte (Au & Ag)

Salares Norte

Location: Chile, South America
Operator: Gold Fields Limited
Royalty: NSR: 2%

In early 2019, Franco-Nevada acquired an existing 2% NSR on the Salares Norte project being advanced by Gold Fields Limited (“Gold Fields”) in the Atacama region of Northern Chile. The royalty is subject to a 1% buyback by Gold Fields within 24 months of announcing commercial production for $6.0 million. In September 2020, Franco-Nevada acquired an additional 2% NSR on all mineral production from Gold Fields’ Rio Baker concessions for $5.0 million in cash with contingent payments of up to $8.0 million. The Rio Baker claims cover the North-West extension of the Salares Norte deposit and the royalty acquisition now provides Franco-Nevada with exposure to 100% of the Salares Norte project.

Salares Norte is a blind epithermal gold and silver deposit and represents one of Gold Fields’ key development projects. Gold Fields completed a feasibility study for the project in early 2019 which included a maiden Mineral Reserve containing 3.5 million ounces of gold and 39.3 million ounces of silver (21.1 million tonnes grading 5.1 g/t gold and 57.9 g/t silver). The feasibility study envisages an open-pit mining operation with an initial mine life of 11.5 years, producing 450,000 ounces of gold equivalent per year for the first 7 years. In December 2019, Gold Fields received approval from the Atacama Environmental Assessment Commission for the Environmental Impact Study on Salares Norte.

Gold Fields reported that construction of the Salares Norte mine commenced in 2020 and pre-stripping of the pit and construction of the processing plant started in January 2021. Gold Fields reported that the project is on schedule for first production in the first quarter of 2023 and expects to continue exploring near-mine potential and to test district potential.


  • Production expected in Q1 2023
  • Feasibility report estimates initial 11.5-year mine life
  • Positive near-mine exploration serves to potentially extend mine

2020 2019 2018
Revenue to Franco-Nevada ($ million) $ - $ - $ -

Salares Norte