Development work and expansion of the milling facilities were completed as of Nov. 27, 2002, and the mill feed increased gradually during the first quarter of this year. The mill had reached commercial production on April 1. It was averaging 4,000 t/day, and the peak had hit 4,800 t/day. The mill will reach full capacity of 5,000 t/day during the fourth quarter of 2003.
On April 3, McWatters completed the acquisition of SOQUEM's 40% interest in the Sigma-Lamaque complex, so it now holds 100% interest.
Until the mill is restarted, normal mining is proceeding at the Sigma-Lamaque open pit.
McWatters plans to produce 856,000 oz of gold over the next five years from the Sigma-Lamaque complex. This year's targets are 110,000-110,000 oz at cash operating costs of US$200-210/oz.
The latest news about Sigma-Lamaque production and exploration at the nearby Kiena property is available at McWatters.