Junior miner Harte Gold will aim for an 800 t/d operation at its Sugar Zone mine, the company said on Tuesday, announcing that it was finalising a maiden feasibility study for the mine.
The Sugar Zone mill, which started up last year, is permitted to operate at 575 t/d.
Harte reported that it would publish the results of the feasibility study “shortly”. It noted that the study validated an 800 t/d operation with sufficient resources to support a 14-year mine life, based on the current indicated resources.
The study also examined the potential to further expand throughput in the future. Harte previously indicated that it would aim to ramp up Sugar Zone to 1 400 t/d in a third phase.
Using a 3 g/t gold cutoff, the mineral resource estimate dated February 2019 contains an indicated resource of 4.24-million tonnes, grading 8.12 g/t for 1.11-million ounces contained gold and an inferred resource of 2.95-million tonnes, grading 5.88 g/t for 558 000 oz contained gold.
Meanwhile, Harte reported that the Sugar Zone mine had been impacted by unprecedented cold weather conditions, contractor equipment failures and manpower issues in January and February. This had led to a temporary slowdown in mining and mill throughput, but added that rates had improved in March.
Additional information would be provided in the first quarter management discussion and analysis, which would be issued in mid-May.
The miner also announced the appointment of Geoffrey Cohen – senior adviser to major shareholder Appian – to its board. He is replacing Richard Colterjohn, who has stepped down.
In early 2018, a preliminary economic assessment was completed for the Sugar Zone mill project and a comprehensive $70-million funding package was arranged to complete construction. The mine achieved commercial production on January 1, 2019.