Harte Gold completes feasibility study on Sugar mine

Harte Gold Corp. (TSX: HRT) has completed a feasibility study on its Sugar mine, which started commercial production in White River, Ontario, in January.

The feasibility study incorporates improvements to the indicated mineral resources and reserves since the preliminary economic assessment was released last year.

The study used an 800-tonne-per-day operation as the base case, which resulted in annual production of 61,000 ounces of gold over a 14-year mine life.

At $1,300 per oz. gold, the base case generates about $30 million a year in net free cash flow at cash operating costs of $643 per oz. and all-in sustaining costs of $845 per oz.

Based on current mineral reserves, production could increase to 1,200 tonnes per day, which would boost production to 95,000 ounces of gold a year and could trim cash costs based on benefits of scale.

At $1,300 per oz. gold, the base case generates about $30 million a year in net free cash flow at cash operating costs of $643 per oz. and all-in sustaining costs of $845 per oz.

The study demonstrated a post-tax net present value at a 5% discount rate of $266.9 million.

Indicated resources from the Sugar, Middle and Wolf zones formed the basis of the study, and measure 4.24 million indicated tonnes grading 8.1 grams gold per tonne for 1.11 million ounces of contained gold.

Inferred resources, which were not included in the feasibility study, stand at 2.95 million tonnes averaging 5.9 grams gold for 558,000 ounces of contained gold.

The updated resource estimate incorporated a database of 683 drill holes (258,605 metres).

The mine plan in the feasibility study was based on a probable reserve of 3.88 million tonnes grading 7.1 grams gold for 890,000 ounces of contained gold.

The underground mine uses ramps from surface to access mine workings and production levels. The process plant produces a gold dore bar and a gold concentrate through gravity concentration and flotation circuits, respectively. It was commissioned at a throughput rate of 575 tonnes per day with nameplate capacity of 800 tonnes per day.

Earlier this month, Harte Gold reported that it is in advanced discussions with existing lenders and potential new financing partners in order to refinance its current debt facilities and is working with Appian, its major shareholder, to deliver near-term liquidity as operations continue to ramp up.

Mining was slowed in January and February due to contractor equipment failures and manpower issues, and the freezing of water in the tailings management facility, which constrained process water supply and mill throughput.

(This article first appeared in The Northern Miner)