Published: February 21, 2018
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
Goldcorp Red Lake Gold Mines hit their highest rates of mining and milling tonnage in the last quarter of 2017 since 2012 say company officials.
Providing an update to investors on the fourth quarter results last week Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Todd White said rates at the local site reached approximately 2,300 tons per day, the highest rates Red Lake has achieved since the end of 2012.
“The investment to optimize the long-term value of Red Lake camp as a higher tonnage, lower grade operation will continue throughout 2018,” said White. “During the fourth quarter, the site continued with higher underground development rates achieving 39 meters per day, an 18 per cent increase over the same period a year ago and similar to the rate achieved in the third quarter.”
White added the activity is expected to “liberate” a larger amount of ore in the future and support the transition to bulk mining.
“The Red Lake mill continued operations in the fourth quarter to supplement the Campbell mill and will be used in 2018 to provide operational flexibility to accommodate higher ore tonnages when required. In the medium term, Red Lake is expected to benefit from additional tonnage from Cochenour targeting around 10,000 ounces in 2018 and ramping up to a range of 30,000 to 50,000 ounces annually from 2019 onwards.”
Goldcorp released their fourth quarter earnings on Feb. 14 reporting a net earnings of $242 million, almost double that which was reported in the same quarter of 2016.
“As we indicated throughout the year, we had expected fairly consistent quarterly gold production in the range of 625,000 to 650,000 ounces in 2017,” reported President and Chief Executive Officer David Garofalo. “We delivered consistently within that range while maintaining our overall cost in line with our improved all-in sustaining cost guidance of $825 per ounce. Our planned strong performance in the fourth quarter allowed us to achieve our full year production and cost guidance ending the year with 2.6 million ounces of gold compared to our guidance of 2.5 million ounces at all-in sustaining costs of $824 per ounce.”
At the Red Lake site gold production for the year was reported as 209,000 ounces at an all-in sustaining cost of $1,000. This was well above 2016 which reported a total of only 88,000 ounces and an all-in sustaining cost of $932 per ounce in the final quarter of the year.
During the investors presentation on Feb. 15 analysists inquired on the development of a drift from HG Young to Campbell noting undertones in the materials suggested the timeline may be quicker than the set 2019 target.
Senior Vice President of Exploration Paul Harbidge noted the mine is not accelerating the schedule at the moment adding “everything is on track with the development of the drilling.
“We are certainly not looking at bringing that schedule forward. It’s all about advancing the geological model. So the first drill companies are going in and we will be drilling latter this quarter and we will have to give you an update on those resources.”