Mr. Serafino Iacono reports
GRAN COLOMBIA GOLD ANNOUNCES NEW QUARTERLY GOLD PRODUCTION RECORD OF 60,601 OUNCES IN FIRST QUARTER OF 2019; SEGOVIA OPERATIONS' TRAILING 12 MONTHS GOLD PRODUCTION SURPASSES 200,000 OUNCES; SIGNS CONTRACT WITH GOLDSPOT DISCOVERIES TO USE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN SEGOVIA'S EXPLORATION
Gran Colombia Gold Corp. produced a total of 21,325 ounces of gold in March bringing the total for the first quarter of 2019 to 60,601 ounces, a new quarterly record and up 15 per cent over the first quarter of 2018. This brings the trailing 12-month total gold production at the end of March, 2019, to 225,930 ounces, up 4 per cent over 2018's annual production and at the top end of Gran Colombia's guidance range for 2019 of between 210,000 and 225,000 ounces.
Serafino Iacono, executive chairman of Gran Colombia, commenting on the company's latest production results, said: "We are very pleased to begin 2019 with another strong quarter of operating performance. At our flagship Segovia operations, our investment in the expansion of our mines has increased our daily tonnes processed in the first quarter of 2019 from the company-operated areas by 11 per cent compared with the annual average for 2018. The expansion of the Maria Dama plant to 1,500 tonnes per day is on track for completion in the second quarter this year, so we will have additional capacity available to handle our expected near-term growth. Our first quarter 2019 gold production has also benefited from higher grades at both our Providencia and El Silencio mines, reaffirming our confidence in the high-grade nature of our mining title as we proceed to accelerate our exploration campaign for the next two years following the completion of the bought-deal private placement last week. We were also pleased to see an improvement in the mining rate at the Marmato mine in March, raising its monthly production by 22 per cent compared with the average for the first two months of 2019 and getting its quarterly performance back on track with our expectations for this year. We will be reporting our financial results for the first quarter of 2019 on or about May 15, 2019."
The Segovia operations had another solid month in March with gold production of 18,970 ounces bringing the total for the first quarter of 2019 to a new quarterly record of 54,386 ounces, up 17 per cent over the first quarter of 2018. Gran Colombia processed an average of 1,112 tonnes per day (tpd) at its Segovia operations in the first quarter of 2019, up 19 per cent from the first quarter last year, with an average head grade of 18.8 g/t, up from 16.1 g/t in the first quarter of 2018. The key driver was a 36-per-cent increase in high-grade material from the company-operated areas at the Providencia mine which contributed 21 per cent of the total tonnes processed in the first quarter of 2019 at an average head grade of 34.8 g/t, up from 25.4 g/t in the first quarter last year. The company's mine development and mechanization in the company-operated areas of the El Silencio mine have also helped to increase both the tonnes mined and the average head grades from this mine in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the first quarter last year. This brings Segovia's trailing 12-month total gold production at the end of March, 2019, to 200,964 ounces, up 4 per cent over 2018's annual production.
At the Marmato operations, March's gold production of 2,355 ounces reflected the impact of some recent development work which increased tonnes processed to 1,090 tpd at an average head grade of 2.5 g/t. This brings Marmato's total production for the first quarter of 2019 to 6,215 ounces, on par with the first quarter of 2018, and its trailing 12-month total gold production at the end of March, 2019, to 24,966 ounces, also on par with 2018's annual production.
Gran Colombia engages Goldspot Discoveries Corp. to use artificial intelligence in its forthcoming exploration campaign at its Segovia operations
Gran Colombia also announced today that it has engaged the team of expert geologists and data scientists at Goldspot Discoveries to use machine learning to identify new drilling targets at its Segovia operations to minimize exploration risk and increase discovery rates. Goldspot will use its geoscience and machine science expertise to clean, unify and analyze Gran Colombia's exploration data at Segovia and then produce both 2-D and 3-D targets for the forthcoming exploration program. Goldspot will also deliver newly constructed lithological and mineralization models, new geophysical products produced through the reprocessing of the raw data and new structural interpretations and models.
Mr. Iacono commented: "Our exploration work at Segovia to date has centred on our three core mining operations to build our mineral resource and reserve statement and to support our mine optimization and planning. We have come to a point where we can now focus on the vast exploration potential we see in our Segovia mining title, stepping out from the existing mine operations and exploring the other 24 known veins in the mining title. We are excited to work with Goldspot to leverage their machine-learning capabilities to increase our potential for success in expanding our mineral reserves through the accelerated drilling campaign we will be launching this year with the proceeds from our recently completed financing."
About Gran Colombia Gold Corp.
Gran Colombia is a Canada-based mid-tier gold producer with its primary focus in Colombia, where it is currently the largest underground gold and silver producer with several mines in operation at its Segovia and Marmato operations. Gran Colombia is continuing to focus on exploration, expansion and modernization activities at its high-grade Segovia operations.
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