Premier Gold Mines (TSX:PG) reported on Thursday production results for the first quarter of 2020, with strong performance from South Arturo in its second full quarter of production at the El Niño underground mine.
A total of 7,489 ounces of gold were recovered from South Arturo, including 6,730 ounces from the El Niño underground mine and 759 pre-production ounces from the Phase 1 open pit, which is currently under construction and not in commercial production.
El Niño met its targeted production for the quarter, and this was the mine’s highest quarterly output since declaring commercial production last fall.
El Niño, a high-grade underground deposit situated down plunge of the Phase 2 pit where mining concluded in 2017, is the second mine that has been developed by the South Arturo joint venture in Nevada. Premier currently holds a 40% interest in the JV property, with Newmont and Barrick Gold owning the remaining share.
At the Mercedes mine in Mexico, gold production came to 11,587 ounces for the period, impacted by lower than planned grades and the ramping down of production due to covid-19.
Altogether, Premier produced 18,317 ounces of gold and 52,832 ounces of silver across its two producing mines for the three-month period.
“South Arturo had a strong quarter, well in excess of expectations,” CEO Ewan Downie commented on the Q1 results.
“Having more than one mining operation has so far allowed us to continue to operate with reasonable success during the covid-19 pandemic that has impacted mining activities worldwide, including the company’s Mercedes mine in Mexico.”
The Mercedes operation was placed into care and maintenance at the end of March, in compliance with a decree issued by the Mexican government.
Shares of Premier Gold Mines were 5.8% higher on the TSX at Thursday’s market open, hitting a four-month high of C$1.83 a share. The Ontario-based gold miner has a market capitalization of C$424.7 million.