Up to 200k oz gold expected at Eagle Mine
Gold production anticipated to increase as year progresses North of 60 Mining News – March 5, 2021
Last updated 3/25/2021 at 4:08pm
Victoria Gold Corp. March 1 announced that it estimates between 180,000 and 200,000 ounces of gold production at Eagle Mine during 2021, the first full year of commercial production at the newly established Yukon operation.
Reaching commercial production on July 1, Eagle Mine produced 116,644 oz gold during 2020, which included 38,896 oz recovered during non-commercial production over the first six months of the year.
During the first three months of commercial production, Victoria encountered some bottlenecks in the production circuit that resulted in a lower than expected 35,312 oz of gold recovered during the third quarter.
As a result of addressing these bottlenecks, gold production at Eagle Mine increased 20% to 42,174 oz during the final three months of 2020.
"Successful achievement of commercial production and operational ramp up were major milestones for Victoria in 2020 and were completed while navigating the additional challenges brought on by COVID-19," said Victoria Gold President and CEO John McConnell.
Victoria expects mining, crushing, and ore stacking at Eagle to run at full capacity this year. Gold production at a heap leach operation, however, lags behind these activities. As a result of this, coupled with curtailed ore stacking during the cold winter days during the first 90 days of each year, gold production will be strongly weighted to the second half of the year.
Victoria is taking advantage of the cold weather slowdown to handle maintenance and upgrades that are expected to improve productivity going into spring.
"Since January 2021, and coincident with the seasonal no stacking period, we have completed a significant maintenance and upgrade program within the Eagle crushing circuit and mobile stacking system which will improve material handling," said McConnell. "With this work complete, we are set up for a successful 2021 and significant increases in gold production, coupled with decreased operating costs and strong free cash flow."
If the Yukon weather warms enough, Victoria says ore stacking may resume before the end of the month.
All-in sustaining costs for 2021 are expected to be between US$1,050 and US$1,175 per oz of gold sold. This includes US$47 million sustaining capital for 2021, which will be high compared with future years due to one-time infrastructure expenditures that include the construction of the truck shop (US$8 million) and water treatment plant (US$11 million).
Victoria Gold plans to invest roughly US$8 million into exploration this year.