St Andrew Goldfields’ (SAS-T) ambitious goal of reaching 100,000 oz. gold production for the year is getting closer to reality.
Production for the third quarter came in at a record 25,742 oz., which SAS CEO Jacques Perron says keeps it on track to meet its production guidance of 90,000 to 100,000 oz. for the year.
Cash costs from its three producing mines in the Timmins mine camp came in at US$768 per oz., bringing total year-to-date cash costs down to US$933 per oz., compared with US$1,165 per oz. for the same period last year.
Such metrics were good enough to generate a modest net income of $6.3 million, or 2¢ per share.
The record production came largely on the back of its Holt mine, which led the way with 13,145 oz. gold produced at cash costs of US$708 per oz. The mine experienced slightly higher costs than expected after an ore pass between two levels of the underground operation became inoperable. But SAS’s vice-president of operations Duncan Middlemiss said on a conference call that the problem would be rectified by year-end.
At its Holloway mine, production came in at 5,408 oz. gold at cash costs of US$746 per oz., while the Hislop mine produced 7,189 oz. at cash costs of US$889 per oz.
SAS is also getting closer to bringing a fourth mine into production, with a bulk-sample excavation at the Taylor project underway. The plan is to process 15,000 tonnes of mineralized material from the upper lens of the West Porphyry zone to validate its geological model, mining method and mill recovery rates.
Stope access and development for the sample were completed in the quarter, and ore from the site would be processed at the Holt mill. SAS plans to spend $6 million at Taylor this year, but Middlemiss said that cash generated from the sample would offset part of the project’s capital costs.
The company ended the quarter with $20.7 million in cash. It has access to another $10-million line of credit — meaning it’s in good shape to finance Taylor into production while pursuing an aggressive exploration program.
Exploration drilling focused on the Ghost and Zone 4 targets by Holt and Hislop North. In all, 13,000 metres were drilled, bringing the year-to-date total to 40,000 metres. The company has four surface rigs turning, two of which are drilling the Hislop North target.
SAS will use Zone 4 exploration results to plan for drifts so that it can do more drilling next year.
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