Gran Colombia Gold (TSX: GCM) announced on Tuesday that it produced a total of 18,643 ounces of gold at its Segovia operations in March 2021, bringing total gold production for the first quarter of 2021 to 49,058 ounces compared with 50,346 ounces in the first quarter of 2020.
The company also produced 57,315 ounces of silver in the first quarter of 2021, up from 45,918 ounces in the first quarter last year.
The Segovia operations processed an average rate of 1,565 tpd in March 2021 with an average head grade of 13.32 g/t. This brought the average for the first quarter of 2021 to 1,470 tpd of material processed at an average head grade of 12.83 g/t, compared with 1,284 tpd at an average head grade of 14.87 g/t in the first quarter last year.
Ongoing development activities within the company’s four operating mines increased tonnes processed to an average of 1,200 tpd in the first quarter of 2021, up from 1,051 tpd in the first quarter last year.
Gran Colombia also processed 270 tonnes per day (tpd) of material in the first quarter of 2021 from the small mines operating under contract with the company in the brownfield areas within the Segovia mining title, up from 233 tpd n the first quarter last year.
The company currently has 56 small mines under contract as part of its ESG initiatives.
“We had a solid month in March, our second consecutive month above the 1,500 tpd level at our Maria Dama processing plant at our Segovia operations. Based on our plan for the balance of the year, we remain on track to meet our production guidance for the full year of 200,000 to 220,000 ounces of gold,” said Lombardo Paredes, Gran Colombia’s CEO.
“The expansion of Maria Dama to 2,000 tpd is proceeding well. This expansion includes a new blending yard and crushing system, a new Merrill Crowe system, additional thickeners and a second filter press at the El Chocho tailings storage facility, all of which are being added to the operation in stages over the balance of the year.
“In addition, the construction of the new polymetallic plant for recovery of zinc, lead, gold and silver from the tailings into concentrate at Segovia should be completed by mid-year, and we expect to commence commissioning shortly thereafter,” Paredes added.
The Segovia operations comprise four underground mines located in the Segovia-Remedios mining district of Antioquia, 180 km northeast of Medellin. These high-grade mines have been in continuous operation for over 150 years, and over that time have produced more than an estimated 5 million ounces of gold.
Mining operations at Segovia incorporate both company-operated areas and an artisanal miner model that contracts local third-party miners to work in Gran Colombia’s concessions and to deliver the ore to the company’s mill for processing.