TORONTO, April 10, 2013 /CNW/ - Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd (TSX:WDO.TO - News) is pleased to announce preliminary production and sales figures for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013. Gold production numbers are subject to final refining balances.
Donovan Pollitt, President, commented "Overall production was up 12% compared to the first quarter of last year. This was driven by increased ore grades at the Eagle River and Mishi Mines, notably a leap up to 11 gAu/tonne recovered at our Eagle River Mine. We are investing to improve mill throughput and reliability and expect to see the results of these capital projects beginning in the third quarter of this year."
During the first quarter, gold production from the Company's Eagle River, Mishi and Kiena mines amounted to over 14,000 ounces, a 12% improvement over last year's first quarter, in spite of reduced output at the Kiena Mine.
The Eagle River Mine produced 10,000 ounces of gold from 27,960 tonnes milled at an average recovered grade of 11.0 gAu/tonne. Grades about doubled from those experienced in both the first quarters of 2012 and 2011.
The Mishi Mine produced 1,200 ounces of gold from 11,410 tonnes milled at an average recovered grade of 3.3 gAu/tonne. Our ore stockpile at the mill grew to 56,000 tonnes at about 2.0 gAu/tonne as at March 31, 2013. Milling remains the bottleneck for the Mishi Mine and we believe the Mishi Mine has great potential to evolve into a bigger producer for Wesdome.
Both the Eagle and Mishi mines feed the same mill. Construction projects in progress will relieve bottlenecks in filtration and we project steady increases in throughput as the year progresses.
The Kiena Mine in Val d'Or produced about 3,000 ounces of gold from 60,113 tonnes milled at an average recovered grade of 1.54 gAu/tonne. Decreasing recovered grades made the Kiena Mine a net cash draw on the Company. Without evidence of improvements in grades or output, in March of this year we announced our intention to place the Kiena Mine on care and maintenance status by June 30, 2013. Development has ceased and developed ore will be mined. We intend to drill off better grade stopes and continue mining and processing until the end of the second quarter, all while having eliminated exploration and long-term development costs. Wesdome management continues to believe that the Kiena Complex has excellent geological potential and believes it will deliver value to shareholders when economic conditions improve.
Gold sales during the first quarter totalled $21.4 million with 13,000 ounces of gold sold at an average price of $1,645 per ounce.
Our gold bullion inventory correspondingly increased to about 10,000 ounces with a market value of about $16.0 million.
FIRST QUARTER FINANCIAL RESULTS
We expect to release our first quarter financial results the week of May 6, 2013.
We are a quarter of the way to our annual production target of 55,000 ounces. With grades and mill throughput improving, we expect to meet, or exceed, this forecast.
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 101.9 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.
Donovan Pollitt, P.Eng., CFA
President & CEO
416-360-3743 ext 25
George Mannard, P.Geo.
Vice President Exploration
416-360-3743 ext 22