Wesdome delivers 2019 guidance and grade increase at Eagle River

Wesdome Gold Mines (TSX: WDO) expects to produce 72,000-80,000 ounces of gold this year at all-in sustaining costs of $985-$1,040 per oz. at its Eagle River mine complex in northern Ontario.

The gold producer also forecasts a significant grade increase to 15.5-16.5 grams gold per tonne, compared to a reserve grade of 12.2 grams gold and a recent high of 13.3 grams gold achieved in the third quarter of last year.

Wesdome produced 71,625 ounces of gold in 2018, a 21% increase from 2017’s 58,980 ounces. AISCs for 2018 will be released on Feb. 20 along with the company’s other financial results.

Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome’s president and CEO, said average head grades this year of over 15 grams per tonne on the low end will mark a 28% increase over 2018, and will be achievable by mining the high grade 303 lens in the third quarter of 2019.

In addition to the Eagle River complex, which consists of the Eagle River underground mine and the Mishi open pit, Wesdome owns the Kiena complex in Val d’Or, Quebec and the Moss Lake gold deposit, about 100 km west of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Last year, Wesdome was one of just 11 precious metals producers that delivered a profit to shareholders

Wesdome plans to drill about 114,000 metres of underground definition and exploration drilling at Eagle with four underground rigs both to replace mining depletion and identify new mineralized areas.

It also plans about 20,000 metres of surface drilling to test for mineralization in parallel zones further to the east along strike and from surface to a depth of 400 vertical metres. Wesdome has budgeted $6.9 million for its total exploration budget at Eagle River, excluding definition drilling, and sustaining capital development of $17.9 million.

At Kiena, the company’s goal is to release an updated resource estimate this year and make a restart decision.

Its exploration program at Kiena this year includes about 50,000 metres of underground drilling with five rigs at the Kiena Deep deposit and 9,000 metres of surface drilling to better define and extend neighboring ones and test the potential of additional zones.

The company expects to spend about $26.9 million at Kiena in 2019, which includes drilling, underground development and start of backfill operations this year.

Last year, Wesdome was one of just 11 precious metals producers that delivered a profit to shareholders, according to an analysis by Simple Digressions, a contributor to the stock market opinion and analysis website Seeking Alpha.

Wesdome currently trades at $4.35 per share within a 52-week range of $1.71 and $4.75 per share.

The company has 135 million common shares outstanding for a market cap of about $589 million.

BMO Capital Markets’ analyst Andrew Mikitchook has a target price on the company of $4.75 per share.

This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal.