Pure Gold Mining Inc (CVE:PGM) (LON:PUR) (OTCMKTS:LRTNF) has reported on a ‘milestone’ second quarter, which saw an uplift in gold production and increased ramp-up rates at its flagship development mine in Red Lake, Ontario, which is nearing ‘commercial’ production.
At the PureGold mine, 6,261 ounces of gold were produced in the three months to end-June 2021, up by 46% from the 4,291 ounces generated in the first quarter of the year, while throughput was 509 tonnes per day (tpd) for the quarter and 577 tpd in June alone.
Advancement of the mine’s Main Ramp and the East Ramp were 5.2 metres and 4.5 metres per day, respectively, which represented a new quarterly record for the Main Ramp and a 53% increase on 1Q, the company noted.
“As we continue opening up the mine and accelerating the development of our two key haulage ways, we are seeing consistent quarter-over-quarter improvements in all key operating metrics and, importantly, excellent grade reconciliation to our mineral reserves,” Darin Labrenz, CEO of PureGold, told investors in a statement.
“With two active ramps now mining ore, an additional dedicated crew to focus on Main Ramp development beginning in July, and nearly 30,000 tonnes of longhole stopes developed in front of us, we are entering the third quarter in our strongest position ever,” he added.
Notably, the ramp rates achieved so far, along with the acceleration of the Main Ramp beginning in July this year, mean underground drilling and development of the high-grade 8 Zone can now be brought forward, added PureGold.
Based on the projected main ramp development rates from July this year onward, first access to 8 Zone ore is currently expected to be achieved by July 2024 – around eight months earlier than was envisioned in the feasibility study.
“Additionally, the company is currently evaluating opportunities to begin underground infill and step-out drilling of 8 Zone from the main ramp earlier than planned, with first results now potentially possible before the end of 2021,” said the company. “Further updates on plans to begin drilling 8 Zone from underground will be provided over the coming months.”
High-grade drill results from underground drilling
Also in the statement, the gold mine developer reported high-grade drill results from underground drilling carried out in the second quarter.
This drilling has been “highly successful” in confirming the tenor of high-grade mineralization within planned stopes and has also expanded the mineable inventory in areas close to the main haulage ways, it said.
Highlights included 9.2 grams per ton (g/t) gold over 7.9 metres (m) in one hole at the East Ramp and 6.4 g/t gold over 8.4m at the Main Ramp.
Results from the drilling continue to be integrated into short-term mine planning, with production planned from most of these areas in 2021, said PureGold.
Commercial production at the mine will be declared on the first day of the calendar month following the achievement of certain criteria, it added. Inaugural production and cost guidance will follow shortly thereafter.
The PureGold mine is poised to be the fourth highest-grade gold mine in Canada at 9 g/t and the 16th highest-grade gold mine globally. The company is developing the mine in a scalable, phased approach, and the first phase is set to produce 1 million ounces.
The first one million announces will generate over C$2.3 billion in revenue over the next decade, the company has said, and over C$1.2 billion in pre-tax free cash flow.
Contact the author at [email protected]