A new technical report released by Harte Gold shows its White River-area mine has enough mineral potential to boost gold production.
The company released a feasibility study on April 8 outlining that its Sugar Zone Mine and mill could expand from an 800-tonne per day processing operation to 1,600-tonnes per day, with gold production jumping from 61,000 ounces annually to 95,000 ounces.
The Sugar Zone Mine is 24 kilometres north of the small community of White River and 80 kilometres east of the Hemlo gold camp.
The company had its first gold pour last October. Commercial production was declared on Jan.1.
Harte builds the feasibility study off of an updated mineral resource on the property, based on exploration drilling at three identified gold zones – Sugar, Middle and Wolf.
Compared to a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) put out by Harte last year, Sugar Zone tonnages are up 18 per cent and ounces of gold edged up 19 per cent.
For the Middle and Wolf Zones, tonnages are up dramatically at 269 per cent and ounces ballooning 234 per cent.
The base case for the Sugar Zone Mine forecasts a 14-year mine life.
But the company believes it’s just the beginning. Only 10 per cent of its 83,850-hectare property has been explored.
Indicated resources on all three zones are a combined 1,108,000 ounces with a grade of 8.1 grams per tonne (g/t). The inferred resources stand at 558,000 g/t from more than 2.95 million tonnes at 5.9 g/t.
In a statement, Harte Gold president Stephen Roman said the study supports their current operating ‘base case’ scenario and their long-term strategy to grow the property’s resources.
“The opportunities to expand production and cash flow identified in the feasibility study are solid. Since taking over the project in 2009, management has increased the property wide mineralization tenfold. The base case scenario is an interim step to stabilize production, develop and train the workforce and generate positive returns for shareholders. As the resource grows, we contemplate the continuation of our expansion plans as we envisioned in our PEA.”
The company has both infill drilling within the mine planned for 2019 to convert lower grade inferred resources to the higher-grade indicated category, along with step-out drilling to reach into new gold zones to the north, north-east and south.