VAL D'OR, Quebec The Sigma gold mill reached commercial production, 3,600 tonnes/day, on Feb. 6. It is well on its way to the 4,000-t/d target set for the end of the first quarter of 2003 by owner McWATTERS MINING. Gold has been poured weekly since bullion production was resumed last Dec. 24.
Mill start-up has proceeded as planned. During last December and January the mill treated 133,341 tonnes of ore with an average processed grade of 1.84 g/t Au, recovering 9,191 oz. The gold recovery rate is over 95% and inching towards 96% as expected. Mill feed comes from the Lamaque pit, where miners remove 42,000 tonnes of ore and waste daily.
The 2003 plan at Sigma calls for the production of between 105,000 and 110,000 oz, 60% of which will go to McWatters. Average cash costs are expected to be US$200-210/oz.
McWatters' VP of mining development Michel Bouchard can be reached at 514-879-1409 or Patrick Bradley, VP of corporate development, can be reached at the same number or on his mobile phone at 514-235-1409.