Don Mario is an open-pit and underground gold mine, owned by Empresa Paititi S.A., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Orvana Minerals Corporation. Don Mario is located within the San Juan Canton, Chiquitos Province, Santa Cruz Department in eastern Bolivia, approximately 380 kilometers east of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and 76 kilometers from San Juan de Chiquitos.
Don Mario consists of 11 contiguous mineral concessions covering approximately 70,100 hectares. Historic exploration work included a combined 33,000 metres of drilling, 148 metres of drifting and a small open-pit. This work resulted in the discovery and delineation of the lower mineralized zone (LMZ) and the upper mineralized zone (UMZ), the two principal zones of mineralization, and several prospects along strike and elsewhere in the Don Mario district, including the Las Tojas gold deposit. Production at Don Mario commenced in mid-2003 after the development of the LMZ. The LMZ was depleted in 2009 at which time mining moved to Las Tojas which is located 14 kilometers from the Don Mario mine infrastructure. Las Tojas was depleted in the second quarter of fiscal 2011 and was succeeded by mining at the UMZ, which commenced commercial production in January 2012.
Orvana placed Don Mario into care and maintenance on November 8, 2019 and is currently evaluating the potential to restart operations with the processing of an oxide stockpile and reprocessing of tailings.
Royal Gold holds a 3.0% net smelter return royalty on gold, silver and copper on the Don Mario project.
Royal Gold acquired its royalty interest on October 25, 2007 as part of the acquisition of Battle Mountain Gold Exploration Corporation.