Pure Gold Mining Inc. [TSXV-PGM; LSE-PUR] provided an update on commissioning and ramp-up activities at its high-grade PureGold Mine in Red Lake, northwestern Ontario.
Since pouring first gold in December 2020, commissioning at the mine has transitioned to full scale ramp-up of mining and milling operations with approximately 260 persons employed at the mine site.
Performance has met or exceeded expectations with respect to underground development and ore production rates, milling performance and gold recovery. Gold pours and shipments have continued regularly.
The underground mine is being accessed via a single decline, the Main Ramp, which is at a depth of approximately 300 metres. Ore production to date has primarily been from lateral sill development with the establishment of access to longhole and mechanized cut and fill stopes being a key priority during ramp-up.
The first high-grade stopes started production in late February and head grades to the mill have increased since that time. Accordingly, head grades are expected to continue to increase and unit costs are expected to continue trending downward. The forecast grade of mine production for March is 7.0 g/t gold, in line with the grade profile for the first year of production outlined in the 2019 Feasibility Study.
To allow for increased ore tonnage from the mine and enhanced flexibility, a second decline on the northeast end of the mine, the East Portal, was collared in 2020 and is currently advancing at a rate of over seven metres per day. Lateral sill development from the East Portal is expected to commence in late March 2021 with stope production anticipated from April onward. Ore production from the East Portal will complement current ore production from the Main Ramp and with two independent mining centres established, the company expects to be able to meet or exceed design capacity of 800 tonnes/day.
The milling facility has performed in line with expectations, averaging approximately 600 tonnes per day for February, with multiple days exceeding 700 tonnes in the latter part of the month. Gold recoveries have been approximately 95% with both the gravity and CIP circuits performing well. Gold pours have been occurring at about one pour per week with regular shipments of gold doré to the Royal Canadian Mint.
The company anticipates declaring commercial production at the PureGold Mine in Q2 2021. Inaugural production and cost guidance will follow.