Pete Dougherty, President and CEO stated By initiating a zero-cost collar gold price protection program on a portion of El Castillo's estimated remaining life-of-mine production, we ensure profitability and are able to extend the mine life at our highest cost operation. Through either exploration success or a higher gold price, there may be potential to continue to extend the life of the El Castillo mine beyond mid-2022. With a strong portfolio of development assets, we felt prudent to lock in cash flow certainty at the El Castillo mine to help fund our development projects while also continuing to maintain exposure to an increasing gold price for our shareholders. This is an opportunity to ensure cash flow at an attractive price protection point. When looking at the total amount of Argonaut's mineral resource base, this zero-cost collar program represents a very small percentage of total gold ounces.
The contracts cover a total of 145,500 ounces of gold between Q4 2019 and the first half of 2022 at an average floor price of $1,450/oz and a weighted average ceiling price of $1,706/oz.