Production at the Detour Lake gold mine during the first quarter was the best recorded during its six-year operating life.
A total of 26.6 million tonnes was mined during the quarter, up from the 22.5 million tonnes recorded in the same quarter in 2018.
“This has been by far the best performing first quarter the company has ever had since start of operations,” said Detour Gold Chief Operating Officer Frazer Bourchier in a May 2 statement.
“I would expect that by year-end we start achieving predictable and consistent operational results and shift towards the optimization phase. We are tracking well to achieve our annual guidance and execute on our 2018 life of mine plan.”
Detour Lake is an open-pit gold mining operation, 185 kilometres northeast of Cochrane. The mine began production in February 2013.
The gold production target (mine guidance) for 2019 is set between 570,000 and 605,000 ounces.
The northeastern Ontario mine pushed 5.2 million tonnes through its mill during the quarter, up from 4.6 million during the same period last year.
Among the highlights were net earnings of US$38.9 million based on generated revenue of $206.1 million. All-in sustaining costs were $1,044 per ounce sold.
Gold production during the quarter was 154,709 ounces, down from 157,141 ounces recorded during the first quarter of 2018. The head grade averaged 1 gram per tonne with recoveries improving from 91.1 per cent in 2018 to 92.2 per cent this year.
The company attributes the quarterly results to modifications made in the mill and other improvements in operating practices like drilling and blasting. and improving road conditions. Management is placing an emphasis this year on haul truck cycle times, loading practices, and mill throughput improvements.
Michael McMullen took the helm as president-CEO of the company on May 1.
He replaces Bill William, who served as interim CEO since January stays on board as a director.
Understandably, Mullen is excited to start work with a mantra to “turn around the operations and deliver improvements in production and costs.”