Aim-listed Hummingbird Resources poured 22 102 oz of gold during its third quarter, with sales for the period amounting to 22 255 oz at an average realised price of $1 782/oz.
This left the gold miner with a gold inventory of 2 769 oz at the end of September, valued at $4.8-million.
All-in sustaining costs (AISC) amounted to $1 520/oz for the quarter.
Production was impacted on by mining contractor excavator equipment availability in September, but Hummingbird on October 22 said mitigation measures were being implemented with the mining contractor to bring mining volumes back to contracted levels.
Hummingbird’s Yanfolila project, in Mali, drilled about 6 750 m during the quarter, mainly on the Sainamoule East (SE) and Sainamoule West (SW) extensions, in addition to greenfield drilling at the Kama and BBC deposits.
The Kouroussa project, in Guinea, drilled about 12 800 m during the quarter, with the focus of the drill programme to convert resources to reserves.
These results provide significant indications as to the high-grade nature of the KK mineralisation and highlight the prospective nature of the Siguiri basin, Hummingbird said, adding that the current drill programme has targeted the shallow mineralisation above 200 m RL, and the company is planning further exploration at depth in 2022.
CEO Dan Betts said the extensive historical drilling results at Kouroussa have showcased multiple high-grade mineralisation zones, and that the miner has focused on further developing these using modern techniques and industry experts to further define the resource.
“This set of updated results continue to show the high level of prospectively in the Siguiri basin where the Kouroussa mine licences are situated and the reason why there is significant activity within the region,” he said.
The near-term drilling goals at Kouroussa focus on converting the maximum number of resources into reserves before production starts in 2023.
From 2022 onwards, Hummingbird will also begin a new exploration drilling campaign to increase the overall resource base of the asset to further extend Kouroussa's mine life.
Both regions – Mali and Guinea – remain on schedule to complete their 2021 drilling campaigns by year end of about 44 000 m at Yanfolila and about 24 000 m at Kouroussa.
Owing to lower contracted volumes of material being mined than was anticipated in the mine plan for the third quarter, Hummingbird’s current model for full-year production at Yanfolila is forecast to be at the lower end of the guidance range of between 100 000 oz and 110 000 oz, and AISC at the upper end of the guidance range of between $1 250/oz and $1 350/oz of gold.
The company noted that, all other things being equal, meeting this forecast is based on the mitigation measures being successfully implemented by its mining contractor, bringing mining volumes back to contracted levels.
Meanwhile, an updated company reserve statement is scheduled to be released later in the current quarter, including a maiden reserve for Kouroussa.
This will be followed by a subsequent company resources and reserve update, based on the 2021 drilling campaigns, to be released in the second quarter of 2022.
At the Dugbe project, in Liberia, Hummingbird’s earn-in partner, Pasofino Gold, released drilling results during the quarter which continued to highlight the significant gold endowment scale of the Dugbe project, with Pasofino expected to release an updated mineral resource estimate soon.
Betts said the third quarter saw the company “balance the need for investment and further optimisation in our current production at Yanfolila, whilst building a broader and sustainable platform for growth through the development of the high grade/low cost Kouroussa mine in Guinea”.
Beyond the challenges faced during the quarter from underperformance by its contract miner, Hummingbird has seen a number of operational improvements across the board as it continues to build its business.