TORONTO, June 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd (TSX: WDO) announces that it is currently fast tracking a multi-pronged milling facility upgrade, which includes:
- Streamlining drystack tailings handling,
- Increasing throughput and efficiency via filtration conversion to CIL process, and
- Permitting of a new longterm tailings management solution.
The mill upgrade is being done in consultation with global milling experts Kappes, Cassiday & Associates of Reno, NV.
Donovan Pollitt, President and CEO, comments "The Mishi open pit has been a great success from a mining standpoint with recovered grades at or above resource grade for the past five quarters. However, we have been constrained by our milling operations and have generated a substantial stockpile of Mishi ore. We are currently upgrading our milling facilities targeting a 66% increase over current rates to 1000 tonnes per day. This will optimize Eagle/Mishi feed rates and ultimately permit substantially higher production"
Combined Eagle River and Mishi ore stockpiles at the mill currently sit at approximately 100,000 tonnes. The Mishi stockpile has about 85,000 tonnes of ore at estimated grades of about 2.5 gAu/tonne and the Eagle River has about 15,000 tonnes of ore at about 7.0 gAu/tonne. Additional Mishi broken ore in-pit is currently about 15,000 tonnes.
To date, in 2013, Mishi has produced 2,100 ounces of gold from 20,000 tonnes milled at a recovered grade of 3.2 gAu/tonne. We are announcing the temporary suspension of the Mishi open pit contract mining activities in light of the considerable stockpile currently at the mill. The postponing of contractor mining activities will reduce operating costs by approximately $3.5 million until year-end and that contract mining activities would recommence in the spring of 2014. The suspension of mining activities does not impact our planned gold production, and as milling rates increase we have the flexibility to re-commence mining activities sooner.
We see considerable potential for expansion given Mishi's increasing reserves as well as positive deep drilling results and better grades at Eagle River.
We are confident in our ability to optimize these assets over the longterm through an affordable and phased incremental capital investment program. We are maintaining our production guidance of 55,000 ounces for 2013.
Wesdome is in its 26th year of continuous mining operations in Canada. It currently has two producing gold mines in Wawa, Ontario and owns the Kiena Complex in Val d'Or, Québec. The Company has 101.8 million shares issued and outstanding and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WDO".
This news release contains "forward-looking information" which may include, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the future financial or operating performance of the Company and its projects. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or "believes" or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases, or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this press release and the Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances, management's estimates or opinions should change, except as required by securities legislation. Accordingly, the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
SOURCE: Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd.
For further information:
Donovan Pollitt, P.Eng., CFA
President & CEO
416-360-3743 ext 25
George Mannard, P.Geo.
Vice President, Exploration
416-360-3743 ext 22