Foundation construction for the primary, secondary and tertiary crushers is progressing as planned and we expect to begin installing major crusher components by the end of the second quarter of 2013. Plastic liner installation on the lower cells of the north leach pad is progressing well and over-liner material has begun to be placed on certain of those cells. The first of three 73 cubic-yard wire rope shovels is being erected and is expected to be operational in May 2013, ahead of schedule. Major components of the second wire rope shovel have begun arriving on-site and it is expected to be operational in the third quarter of 2013. We plan to issue bid packages for the mill construction in the second quarter of 2013 and to begin mobilization for prime construction in July 2013. Bids to install the mill sub-foundation are currently being evaluated and neat line excavation for the foundations has commenced. We are on track to meet commissioning deadlines for the north leach pad (late second quarter 2013), Merrill-Crowe plant (third quarter of 2013) and gyratory crusher (mid-third quarter 2013). The additional capacity of the new Merrill-Crowe plant is currently expected to bring total solution processing capacity to 33,000 gallons per minute.
We recently announced that Bob Buchan, who has been Chairman of the Board since inception of the Company, has also assumed the roles of President and CEO. In addition, we are also strengthening the operating team at Hycroft with the appointments of Carl Waggoner, who has joined as Operations Manager and Darren Tinney who will assume the Process Manager position. Along with Randy Buffington (EVP & COO), these highly qualified individuals will lead the operating team as we continue to expand current operations and construct and operate the milling complex. Carl has more than thirty years of experience in mining and joins us most recently from his position of General Manager at Coeur d'Alene Mining's Rochester mine in Nevada. Prior to that, he served as Manager of Construction and Engineering at Barrick's Turquoise Ridge Joint Venture operation in Nevada and earlier worked at BHP Copper, Komatsu, Asarco and Fluor. Darren has over twenty years of practical mineral processing experience in: health, safety and environmental risk management; facility design, startup and operations; strategic planning and execution; and operations team building. Darren has extensive experience in every aspect of the Hycroft Process Division expansion, including crushing, SAG mill/ball mill grinding, cyanide leaching and carbon adsorption, flotation and regrinding, heap leach and tailings facility management. Relevant startup experience includes Barrick's Bald Mountain mine expansion, BHP Escondida's Phase IV Concentrator, and Brunswick Mine's AG/SAG mill expansion. Darren joins us from Barrick Gold Corporation, where he served as Process Superintendent at their Hemlo, Goldstrike and Bald Mountain mines.
We expect to issue full first quarter 2013 financial results during the week of May 6, 2013 and will hold our Annual Meeting at the Design Exchange in Toronto on May 2, 2013.
On Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 9:00 am PT (noon ET), Bob Buchan, Steve Jones - EVP & CFO and Randy Buffington will hold an open conference call in which they will discuss recent announcement by the Company, which will be followed by a question and answer session.
To access the call, please dial: Canada & US toll-free - 1-800-814-4860 Outside of Canada & US - 1-416-644-3416Replay (available until April 23, 2013): Access code: 4613256# Canada & US toll-free - 1-877-289-8525 Outside of Canada & US - 1-416-640-1917