Mr. Frazer Bourchier reports
HARTE GOLD ANNOUNCES CONTINUED QUARTERLY PRODUCTION GROWTH AND RECORD PRODUCTION FOR Q1 2021
Harte Gold Corp. had first quarter 2021 gold production of 11,776 ounces, representing the fifth consecutive quarter of production growth for the company.
Operational highlights for Q1 2021:
Record gold production: total production of 11,776 oz Au for Q1 2021, a 9-per-cent increase over the previous quarter; average monthly production totalled 3,925 oz Au for the quarter;
Improved mine capital development: averaged 14.0 metres per day, a 23-per-cent improvement over fourth quarter 2020 and above targeted development rates for the year;
Increased ore tonnes processed: average throughput rate of 716 tonnes per day (tpd) for the quarter, an increase of 42 per cent over Q4 2020; the company achieved mine production of more than 750 tpd for over half the month of March;
Consistent grade: 6.1 g/t Au, consistent with the expected grade per the resource model and within 10 per cent of target for the quarter.
OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS -- Q1 2021
Unit Q3 2020 Q4 2020 Q1 2021 FY 2021
Mine capital development M/day 9.2 11.4 14.0 13.5
Ore tonnes processed tpd 473* 503 716 800
Grade g/t Au 5.7 7.7 6.1 7.1
Recovery % 93.4% 94.9% 93.7% 94.0%
Monthly gold ounces produced Avg. oz Au/month 3,100 3,611 3,925 5,200
* Represents a mined daily rate as process plant was restarted midway through third quarter 2020.
Frazer Bourchier, president and chief executive officer, commented:
"Harte Gold's Sugar Zone mine continued to generate positive momentum in the first quarter of 2021 as we made considerable improvements towards achieving key performance indicators during the quarter. Most importantly, mine development metres are currently tracking above targeted rates for 2021 and continue to be the critical gauge to future success in allowing access to more working stope areas and creating additional flexibility.
"Despite a 35-per-cent improvement in ore production from the previous quarter, action plans continue to focus on equipment reliability and are resulting in steadily improving mechanical availability. With our solid performance against these markers, the company should soon produce sustainably at our target rate of 800 tonnes per day, and we maintain our 2021 production guidance of 60,000 to 65,000 ounces of gold."
Q1 2021 operational summary
Mine capital development
Outperformance in mine capital development was driven by finalizing the transition to owner-operated mining, strengthening and aligning the mine work force, improving maintenance practices, and adhering strictly to plan to advance toward available working areas. The company expects current performance to continue into second quarter 2021 and for the balance of this year.
Ore tonnes processed
A total of 64,418 tonnes were processed in Q1 2021 for an average of 716 tonnes per day. Throughput levels averaged approximately 700 tpd in January and February, constrained largely by mine production and working face availability at that time. Throughput increased to 740 tpd for March, despite a cone crusher shaft repair. For 17 operating days in March, throughput levels were at 750 tpd or greater.
The process plant continued to perform above plan, with ore tonnes processed limited only by mine ore haulage to surface. Remaining constraints on ore production from the underground are largely related to equipment availability and, to a lesser extent, budgeted work force vacancies and the improvement of mine technical service effectiveness. Improving equipment availability is currently being addressed, and additional planned mobile equipment will be operational in early Q2 2021.
Grade reconciled within 10 per cent of budgeted grade for the period. While feed grade was marginally behind plan due to minor variances in stope sequencing and timing, mineral resource reconciliation continues to trend positively. Stope dilution of less than 10 per cent was in line with expectations.
Average monthly gold production represented a 9-per-cent increase over fourth quarter 2020, the fifth consecutive quarter of gold ounce production growth. While average monthly gold production was slightly below target, the company is confident production rates will increase as throughput rates stabilize and higher-grade areas are accessed as per the mine plan.
About Harte Gold Corp.
Harte Gold holds a 100-per-cent interest in the Sugar Zone mine located in White River, Canada. The Sugar Zone mine entered commercial production in 2019. Production guidance is 60,000 to 65,000 oz Au for 2021. The company has further potential through exploration at the Sugar Zone property, which encompasses 81,287 hectares covering a significant greenstone belt. Harte Gold trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol HRT, on the OTC under the symbol HRTFF and on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol H4O.
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