TORONTO – Pure Gold Mining Inc. [PGM-TSXV; LRTNF-OTC; PUR-LSE] has made pro-active executive management changes that better align operational requirements with professional expertise for its 100%-owned, producing Pure Gold mine 16 km west of Red Lake, northwest Ontario. Troy Fierro, director and seasoned mining engineer, has replaced Darin Labrenz as president and CEO. Chris Haubrich, vice-president, business development, has replaced Sean Tetzlaff as CFO. Ashley Kates, corporate controller, has been promoted to vice-president, finance, and corporate secretary. All changes are effective as of January 1, 2022.
Graeme Currie, chairman, stated: “On behalf of the board of directors and all Pure Gold stakeholders, I thank both Darin and Sean for their dedication, commitment and hard work dating back to the inception of the company. Due in large part to their focused efforts, the Pure Gold mine transitioned in just six years from a pre-resource-stage asset through construction toward a commercial operation, which today is one of only two operating mines in the re-emergent Red Lake district.”
“Today’s changes are consistent with the company’s transition to a culture of operational excellence,” stated Troy Fierro. “As the Pure Gold mine continues to evolve and grow, so too does the repertoire of skills needed in our executive leadership team to ensure ongoing success. Chris, Ashley and I each bring our own unique combination of leadership skills and operational experience and I am excited for us to work together in our new roles. In addition to Chris and Ashley I am delighted to be working more closely with Maryse Belanger, our MGM and my fellow director, who has been driving operational improvements at the mine site for the past two months.”
Labrenz is also stepping down from the board. Although Tetzlaff will no longer be in an executive role, he will continue to provide support as needed in an advisory capacity.
Pure Gold mine update
Since Maryse Belanger assumed the role of mine general manager in November, 2021, several operational improvement initiatives have been implemented at the mine. These changes are expected to have a positive impact on both short-term and long-term operational performance.
Several senior manager roles have been eliminated, resulting in reduced site general and administrative costs. The company expects to continue to explore and implement additional cost saving opportunities in 2022. A new crushing and hauling contract was awarded in November, which has reduced material handling costs by 25%. A new agreement is being negotiated with Dumas Mine Contracting, which will reduce costs, improve transparency and ensure maximum benefit for Pure Gold and its partner contract miners.
Inexpensive upgrades are being made to the gravity circuit. They are expected to increase gravity recovery by 10 to 15% and overall gold recoveries by 1 to 2%. A camp has been sourced and will be installed near the mine early in the first quarter of 2022, significantly improving Pure Gold’s ability to attract and retain top talent, while reducing costs of accommodation and travel. Occupancy is planned for March, 2022.
As ore throughput and grade increase in conjunction with the continuing cost reduction initiatives, the company expects cash costs and all-in sustaining costs to trend steadily and significantly downward throughout 2022.
As these and several other operational improvement initiatives continue to be implemented, the mine is targeting production in the range of 600-700 tonnes/day (60-70% of mill capacity) for Q1 2022 and will ramp up gradually from there as access to high-confidence, high-grade stopes increases. Average head grades are expected to initially be in the range of 5.0 to 7.0 g/t gold and are also expected to increase steadily as the growing drilled inventory allows for better stope scheduling and increasing stope access allows for increased ore mining rates on a sustained basis.