Vancouver-based Ascot Resources has begun underground development work at its C$224-million Premier gold project, British Columbia, and plans to initiate full-scale ramp development this month.
The company is currently advancing the project with available liquidity, while it continues to look for alternative financing to replace a credit facility with Sprott Private Resource Lending II. The parties last month announced that they could not agree on drawdown conditions for the remaining $60-million of an $80-million facility that formed part of a $105-million package.
Ascot said on Monday that it anticipated underground development and construction to continue as previously planned, but cautioned that certain work packages might be placed on hold until alternative funding was secured. This could potentially delay the initial production target of the first quarter of 2023.
“We are currently pursuing alternative financing options to replace the Sprott senior facility. We have been encouraged by the amount of interest we have received from potential lenders and streaming and royalty companies and have progressed to advanced discussions with potential partners,” said president and CEO Derek White.
He added that the company would endeavour to have an update on the refinancing in the coming months.
At the end of March, Ascot had working capital of C$78.75-million and a cash balance of C$89.40-million.
Meanwhile, Ascot also announced the appointment of Bryant Schwengler as VP operations and general manager. Schwengler was most recently operations manager at Newcrest Mining’s Red Chris mine.