Production is well underway at Harte Gold’s Sugar Zone Mine near White River, but the company is still aggressively exploring to expand the size of the deposit.
It’s been quite a fall for the Toronto company which introduced the first new mine in the Hemlo gold camp in more than 30 years.
Harte Gold landed its commercial production permits from the Ontario government in September, poured its first gold bar in October, had Premier Doug Ford cut the ribbon at the mine’s official opening later that same month, and conducted its first production blast in November.
“Harte Gold is pleased to report significant achievements toward commercial production,” said Harte Gold president-CEO Stephen Roman in a Nov. 15 quarterly update. “Ramp-up of the mill continues successfully and stope production has now started. We remain on track to declare commercial production this quarter.”
Their mine builder, Redpath, is adding workers as underground ore drift development work continues at the Sugar Zone’s North and South ramps. During September, the average advance rate of eight metres per day was ahead of plan.
The processing plant was commissioned in early November and it’s now running at its permitted capacity of 575 tonnes per day. The company is now applying to the province for new permitting to increase both the milling and mining rate (the latter at 550 tonnes per day) to 800 tonnes per day by the first quarter of 2019.
On the exploration side, Harte completed 100,000 metres worth of drilling in and around the mine.
With 83,850 hectares at their disposal, the company said it has a “significant greenstone belt” to explore.
The company finished 62,000 metres of infill drilling at its Sugar Zone and the neighbouring Middle Zone with the aim of shifting their inferred mineral resources into the indicated category.
Those results will be folded into an updated mineral resource estimate, due out in early 2019, along with a mine plan.
The last mineral resource estimate, released in February, showed an indicated mineral resource of 2,607,000 tonnes grading 8.52 grams per tonne (g/t) for 714,200 ounces contained gold and an inferred mineral resource of 3,590,000 tonnes, grading 6.59 g/t for 760,800 ounces contained gold, using a 3 g/t gold cut-off.
There’s also some step-out drilling underway to follow the trail of gold mineralization at its Sugar, Middle and Wolf Zones. With 30,000 metres of drilling in the books, the company thinks its Fox Zone is an area of potential mineralization.