Production of 8,017 oz. in the fourth quarter from its Sugar zone mine in Ontario has allowed Harte Gold to exceed its previously revised production guidance of 24,000 oz. to 26,000 oz. for the year. This represents an increase over the 6,069 oz. produced in the third quarter for a total of 27,316 oz. delivered in 2019.
“The quarter has been transformational on various fronts from changes implemented throughout the organization, including governance, management and operational,” Sam Coetzer, Harte Gold’s president and CEO said in a release. “Leading indicators like waste development, backfill rates and stope drilling continue to improve.”
December appears to have been a particularly positive month for the company, with head grades increasing due to greater availability of stoping ore and better development rates. Backfill placement that month also exceeded targets without use of the paste plant, confirming the use of rockfill as a viable alternative as the paste plant is fine-tuned.
This year, the company plans to further grow its production, to the 42,000 oz. to 48,000 oz. range at estimated all-in sustaining costs of $1,475 to $1,650 per oz. Harte expects this increase to be driven by improvements in both tonnages extracted and grades processed.
Beyond 2020, the company expects to continue to grow production from ongoing improvements in grade.
The total capital spend this year is estimated at C$29.7 million; C$18.5 million is allocated for underground development with C$11.2 million planned for infrastructure upgrades. The company has drawn down funds from the standby commitment and is assessing financing options for 2020.
Harte declared commercial production at the Sugar zone mine in January 2019 but delays in decline development last year caused the company to cut its production guidance and increase its costs forecast back in November. Latest all-in cost guidance for 2019 was at $2,000 to $2,200 per oz.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)