A delay in the start-up of the paste fill plant and lower than expected underground development rates plagued Harte Gold’s (TSXL HRT; US-OTC: HRTFF) Sugar zone mine in the third quarter.
The company has cut its production guidance for the year to between 24,000 and 26,000 oz. gold from its previous guidance of 39,200 ounces. All-in sustaining costs (AISCs) are forecast to jump to between US$2,000 and US$2,200 per oz., surpassing earlier guidance of US$1,300 to US$1,350 per ounce.
Mining rates have been below target since the start of commercial production in January, and the company has had to supplement run of mine mill feed from surface stockpiles, all of which were drawn down by the end of July.
Grades milled have been lower than expected due to planned dilution, as the rate of decline development is behind schedule, which has delayed access to the higher-grade portions of the orebody. As a result, the company is mining too much development ore relative to stoping.
In an interview with The Northern Miner, Sam Coetzer, the company’s new president and CEO
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