In the first three months of 2021, Fiore Gold’s (TSXV: F) Pan heap leach mine in Nevada generated 10,915 oz. of gold, a 19% increase over the prior quarter due to an improvement in heap leach pH levels. The amount of dissolved gold loaded to carbon also trended upwards over the course of the reporting period, from 3,294 oz. in January to 4,155 oz. in March.
The U.S.-focused gold miner is also completing an expansion project at the Pan heap leach pad that was originally announced in December 2020, to extend the mine life by two years to 2025. First ore is expected to be stacked on the new pad in the company’s fiscal third quarter (the second calendar quarter of 2021).
At the end of March, Fiore had US$17.5 million of cash, a decrease from the US$19.2 million in the bank at the end of December due to investments made in the leach pad as well as spending on ongoing drilling and feasibility study work at the Gold Rock project, a potential satellite operation to Pan.
“We advanced on a range of fronts in Q2 (the first calendar quarter) and were particularly pleased to see normal gold production levels resuming as Q2 progressed,” Tim Warman, Fiore CEO, said in a release. “Through the quarter, we have also made good progress on Pan’s leach pad expansion and look forward to the positive impact on gold recovery when we place first ore on the new pad in fiscal Q3.”
This fiscal year (started Oct. 1, 2020), the company expects to generate 44,000 to 47,000 oz. of gold at AISCs of US$1,125 to US$1,175 per oz. According to the December mine plan update, based on a current nameplate capacity of 12,701 tonnes per day (14,000 tons) per day, Pan has a mine life reaching out to 2025.
Feasibility work is ongoing for the federally permitted Gold Rock project, about 12 km southeast of Pan. Based on an April 2020 preliminary economic assessment, Gold Rock could be an open pit operation, generating an additional 55,800 oz. gold annually over a 6.5-year mine life, at all-in sustaining costs of US$1,008 per oz. with a preproduction capital estimate of US$64.6 million.
In the release, Warman added that Fiore is looking to operate Pan and Gold Rock in unison, which would organically double the company’s gold output in Nevada.