With the milling facility ramp-up completed in the first quarter, the company said its focus for the second quarter has shifted to ramping up high-grade ore production from the mine.
Quarter-to-date, it said head grades have significantly increased compared to the first quarter and continue to trend positively, achieving an average of 6.3 grams per ton (g/t) gold over the last three weeks.
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And metallurgical recoveries continue to be exceptional, ranging between 95-99% year-to-date. Ore production rates are expected to continue to increase toward a design capacity of 800 tonnes per day (tpd) with the goal of achieving and sustaining that rate by mid-year.
Production highlights for the three-week period from April 20-May 10:
- 6.3 g/t gold average processed head grade;
- 9,637 tonnes of ore milled;
- 97.5% gold recovery rate;
- 1,908 ounces of gold produced; and
- 459 tpd processed on average.
“As we continue to open up the mine and access the heart of the deposit, we are seeing the mine show its high-grade nature, as expected,” said CEO Darin Labrenz in a statement.
“Our most recently mined stope yielded an average head grade of 10.0 g/t Au including a peak daily head grade of 13.1 g/t Au and provided mill feed for multiple consecutive days setting single-day and multi-day production records. These high grades remind us of how special this orebody is and of the world-class potential Red Lake deposits are known for. Our focus for the balance of the second quarter will be on ramping up ore production from the mine to design capacity.”
He continued: “We currently have 17 stopes designed and ready for development over the next three months, representing approximately 70,000 tonnes of ore with an estimated average grade of 6.0-7.0 g/t Au, in line with expected grades from the feasibility study. We are currently active in 17 headings at various phases of development and expect that number to increase to 26 by the end of the quarter. With the first stopes expected to be developed in the East Ramp area in the coming weeks, we will soon have two active haulage ways to support increased ore production for the remainder of 2021 and beyond.”
In addition, Labrenz said Pure Gold is targeting an ore production rate of 500-600 tpd for the month of May, expecting to achieve a feasibility design capacity of 800 tpd on a sustainable basis by mid-year.
The company also said it is accelerating the development of both the Main Ramp and the East Ramp main haulage ways for the remainder of 2021. Proceeds from the recently closed $17.3 million equity offering will be deployed to accelerate the development of these two ramps and should enhance near-term mine flexibility, provide earlier access to higher grade mining zones, including the ultra high-grade 8 Zone, and position the mine for potential expansions beyond 800 tpd in the future.
Meanwhile, in other company news, Pure Gold said it held about $23 million in cash as of May 12.
The company has drawn US$77.5 million to date on its credit facility with Sprott Resource Lending and expects another US$7.1 million principal to be made available as a result of the proceeds raised in the bought-deal equity offering which closed on May 5. Its financial statements for the quarter ended March 31 will be available on May 14.
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