Alamos posts strong Q1 results

The Mulatos open-pit mine is part of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range in the east-central portion of Sonora, Mexico. Credit: Alamos Gold.

In the first quarter of the year, Alamos Gold produced 110,800 ounces of gold at all-in sustaining costs of $1,010 per ounce.

Although the company withdrew its 2020 guidance of 425,000 oz. to 465,000 oz. at all-in sustaining costs (AISCs) of $1,007 to $1,047 per oz. on April 2 due to the pandemic, these numbers suggest strong operating performance across its three operations.

On March 24, the company announced that operations at its Island Gold mine in Ontario were temporarily suspended in light of covid-19; with the April 2 announcement, it also indicated that mining at its Mulatos operation was suspended in line with a mandate from the Mexican government ordering the closure of non-essential businesses.

At its Young-Davidson mine in Ontario, where a depth expansion is currently underway, the upper and lower portions of the ramp system and Northgate shaft are now connected.

This expansion is expected to be complete in July, allowing for higher production at lower costs in the second half of the year.

“We had a solid start to the year amidst a challenging environment with the COVID-19 pandemic. With strong operational performances at Island Gold and Mulatos, we exceeded the top end of our first quarter production guidance while completing several critical path items on the lower mine expansion at Young-Davidson,” John McCluskey, the company’s president and CEO, said in a release.

McCluskey added that he expects Island Gold operations to ramp up at the beginning of May.

In Mexico, the suspension has been extended to the end of May with potential to lift some of the restrictions by mid-month.

Mulatos and Island Gold drive Q1 performance

The Mulatos heap-leach open pit mine in Mexico generated 42,600 oz. in the quarter at AISCs of 958 per oz.

The leach pads continue to generate gold at the site from the material stacked during the first quarter.

Detailed engineering and project design are underway for the higher-grade La Yaqui Grande deposit at the site with a construction decision expected in the second quarter.

Island Gold churned out 38,800 oz. at AISCs of $670 per oz in the first quarter of the year. An expansion study is underway to examine the option of developing recently increased reserves and resources at the project into a larger operation.

This year’s exploration program at Island Gold is focused on near-mine resource definition within the 2-km-long Island Gold main zone.

No major impacts

In the quarter, Young Davidson produced 28,700 oz. at AISCs of $1,242 per oz. According to the company, this operation has not seen significant impacts from the pandemic.

The lower mine expansion, originally scheduled for completion in June, is now anticipated to be complete in July due to productivity constraints in place due to covid-19.

Alamos generated $81.7 million from operations, before changes in working capital, in the quarter and ended the reporting period with $214.7 million in cash and equivalents.

Thursday, Alamos’ stock was down 2.3% on the NYSE. The company has a $3.13 billion market capitalization.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

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