VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —( , LSE:PUR) (“PureGold” or the “Company”), is pleased to provide a third quarter 2021 update for its high-grade PureGold Mine in Red Lake, Ontario.
Production highlights and milestones for the third quarter include:
- Average daily throughput of 685 tpd for the quarter, a 35% increase compared to the second quarter driven by increased stope access and mill upgrades;
- Gold production of 9,260 ounces, a 54% increase compared to the second quarter driven by higher grades and increased tonnage;
- Average mill head grade of 4.8 g/t Au, a 15% increase on the second quarter;
- Average mill recovery rate of 94.7%, in line with expectations;
- Completion of mill upgrades to increase processing capacity, 1,000 tpd achieved for a number of days;
- Continued ramp-up of production from the East Ramp area of the mine, which has become a key production contributor and is expected to grow significantly over the coming quarters;
- Average ramp development rate 7.4 metres per day, as improving stope access and continuing to accelerate access to deeper, higher-grade zones of the mine, including 8-Zone, remains a top priority.
Mine Leadership Update
Maryse Bélanger, a Director of the Company, has stepped into the role of Mine General Manager at the PureGold Mine effective today and will be based in Madsen on a full time basis. In this role, Ms. Bélanger will oversee all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the PureGold Mine. Maryse is a widely respected senior mining executive with decades of experience and a track-record of successfully leading the construction, commissioning, ramp-up and operation of several mines globally. Her previous roles include President & CEO of and President, Director & COO of Atlantic Gold, where she successfully guided the company in taking its Touquoy Mine in Nova Scotia from construction to commissioning, ramp-up and full production, through to its eventual acquisition by St. Barbara for $722M. She also served as CEO & Managing Director of Mirabela Nickel Ltd. where she is credited with the successful turnaround of the Santa Rita mine in Brazil during a period of extremely low metal prices. From 2009 to 2014, Maryse was a senior executive with Goldcorp where she was ultimately appointed Senior Vice President, Technical Services.
Darin Labrenz, President & CEO of PureGold, commented, “The third quarter was a strong operational quarter for the PureGold Mine with quarter-over-quarter improvements in ore production, underground development rates, and mill head grades. We expect mill throughput and mill head grades to continue trending positively through the end of 2021 and into 2022 as ongoing accelerated development and definition drilling programs continue to open up access and build inventory in both the East Ramp and Main Ramp areas of the mine. Underground drilling continues to confirm the high-grade nature of this deposit and we are excited by what lies ahead.” He continued, “I am delighted to have Maryse joining our local leadership team in operations on a day-to-day basis. Maryse’s extensive global experience both as a corporate executive and a mine operator, with a focus on streamlining organizations and driving cost performance, will be a great asset to PureGold. Her decades of hands-on global mining experience and a progressive approach to mining placing a high priority on safety, sustainability, and accountability, is an excellent addition to the PureGold team. I am confident that Maryse is the right leader to guide the PureGold Mine through its next phase of growth.”
Several key upgrades were completed at the milling facilities during the third quarter including the installation of interstage screens on each of the six CIP tanks, installation of a trommel screen on the SAG mill discharge, and several pump upgrades. These upgrades have increased the steady-state milling capacity by 25% from 800 tpd to 1,000 tpd. Significant progress was made on permit amendments to increase annual ore production limits from 292,000 tonnes (800 tpd) to 360,000 tonnes (1,000 tpd) in the quarter, and final approval of the amendment is on track to be received well in advance of the current limit becoming a constraint on production.
Ramp Development Update
Development of the Main Ramp averaged 4.7 metres per day in the third quarter. The Main Ramp remains the critical path to 8-Zone access and drilling. As of September 30, the Main Ramp was at a depth of approximately 420 metres below surface and is expected to reach approximately 490 metres vertical depth by the end of 2021. The Company is evaluating opportunities to continue developing the Main Ramp at an accelerated rate into 2022 to further expedite 8-Zone access.
East Ramp Update
East Ramp development averaged 2.7 metres per day in the quarter as development activities in the East Ramp area of the mine were split between ramp development and lateral development. The first stopes were mined from the East Ramp area of the mine early in the third quarter. To date, a total of 6,290 tonnes of stope ore has been mined at a grade of 9.0 g/t gold. The next block of stopes to be mined beginning in Q4 2021 is under development with sill development currently underway on three levels. Sill development is showing exceptional continuity of high-grade gold mineralization, with the 1420 sill returning approximately 64 lateral metres grading 7.4 g/t gold, significantly longer and higher grade than what was initially modelled. Recent drilling in the area also indicates strong potential for stope expansion along strike and to depth, beyond the currently defined reserve stopes. These East Ramp area stopes currently under development represent a key growth opportunity for the PureGold Mine in Q4 2021 and into 2022.
8-Zone Drilling Update
The Company has designed a phase one 18-hole drill program to target the high-grade 8-Zone with drills to be positioned in a drill bay off the Main Ramp at a vertical depth of approximately 400 metres. The goal of this initial 8-Zone drilling program is to upgrade 8-Zone mineral resources ahead of planned mining in 2024 and to explore possible extensions of 8-Zone. The Company will provide further updates following commencement of the 8-Zone drilling program.
Mineral Resource Update
An updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the PureGold Mine including satellite deposits Wedge, Russet South and Fork is expected to be completed in Q4 2021. Following completion of the updated resource estimate, an updated Technical Report is expected to be completed including an updated Mineral Reserve. Expected timing for the updated Technical Report is H1 2022.
Updated Production Outlook
For the first three quarters of 2021, accelerated ramp development and definition drilling have been successful in opening up the underground mine which, in turn, has driven steady improvements in throughput and grade year to date. The Company is confident that these programs will continue to deliver steady improvements going forward, though the forecasted pace of ramp-up has been revised based on trends observed to date. As such, the Company is targeting a production rate of approximately 600-700 tpd at an average head grade of 5.5-6.5 g/t Au for the fourth quarter of 2021 and expects to continue ramping up both throughput and mill head grade toward the mine’s full capacity by the end of Q1 2022. The Company now expects to sustain 1,000 tpd by mid-2022.
As of September 30, 2021, the Company held approximately $24 million in cash. The Company has drawn US$85 million to date on its credit facility with Sprott Resource Lending.
Qualified Persons and 43-101 Disclosure
Ken Donner, P. Eng., Vice President, Operations for the Company, is the designated Qualified Person for this news release within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”) and has reviewed and verified that the technical information contained herein is accurate and approves of the written disclosure of same.
PureGold is a growth company, located in the very heart of Red Lake, Canada. Our objective is pure and simple. To develop a highly-profitable long life gold mining company, becoming Canada’s next iconic gold producer. Our plan is very disciplined, very methodical and financially sound. To expand organically, and develop PureGold’s multi-million ounce high-grade gold asset incrementally, step-by-step, using a phased mining development plan to deliver maximum return.
- For further information, see the technical report titled “Madsen Gold Project Technical Report Feasibility Study for the Madsen Deposit Red Lake, Ontario, Canada” with an effective date of February 5, 2019, and dated July 5, 2019 (the “Feasibility Study”), for further information please see www.puregoldmining.ca or under the Company’s Sedar profile at www.sedar.com
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Darin Labrenz, President & CEO
Adrian O’Brien, Director, Marketing and Communications
Non-IFRS Financial Performance Measures
The Company has included certain non-IFRS measures in this new release. Refer to the Company’s MD&A for an explanation of non-IFRS measures. The Company believes that these measures, in addition to measures prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”), provide readers with an improved ability to evaluate the underlying performance of the Company and to compare it to information reported by other companies. The non-IFRS measures are intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. These measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed under IFRS, and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
All statements in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, are “forward-looking information” with respect to PureGold within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including, but not limited to statements with respect to those that address proposed timing of development plans for the PureGold Mine complex, timing of expected production, potential for accelerating development of the two main ramps, potential for advancing the amount and timing for higher grade ore, potential for additional resources and expansion of known deposits and potential for making new discoveries and the focus of the Company in the coming months . Forward-looking information is often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as “seek”, “anticipate”, “plan”, “continue”, “planned”, “expect”, “project”, “predict”, “potential”, “targeting”, “intends”, “believe”, “potential”, and similar expressions, or describes a “goal”, or variation of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “should”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and is based upon a number of estimates and assumptions of management at the date the statements are made including, among others, assumptions about future prices of gold and other metal prices, currency exchange rates and interest rates, favourable operating conditions, political stability, obtaining governmental approvals and financing on time, obtaining renewals for existing licences and permits and obtaining required licences and permits, labour stability, stability in market conditions, availability of equipment, accuracy of any mineral resources, successful resolution of disputes and anticipated costs and expenditures. Many assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the control of PureGold and there is no assurance they will prove to be correct.
Such forward-looking information, involves known and unknown risks, which may cause the actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including, risks related to the interpretation of results at the Pure Gold Red Lake Mine complex; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; current economic conditions; future prices of commodities; possible variations in grade or recovery rates; the costs and timing of the development of new deposits; failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; the failure of contracted parties to perform; the timing and success of exploration and development activities generally; delays in permitting; possible claims against the Company; the timing of future economic studies; labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals, financing or in the completion of exploration as well as those factors discussed in the Annual Information Form of the Company dated March 31, 2021 in the section entitled “Risk Factors”, under PureGold’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.
Although PureGold has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. PureGold disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise unless required by law.
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