VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pure Gold Mining Inc. (TSX-V:PGM, LSE:PUR) (“PureGold” or the “Company”), reports its fourth quarter and full year 2021 summary financial and operating results. The Company’s audited financial statements and related management’s discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2021, will be available for download on SEDAR and on the Company’s website. All amounts are expressed in Canadian dollars (“$”), unless otherwise noted.
Key operating results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2021, and subsequent to date for the Company and its 100% owned PureGold Mine Project (“PureGold Mine” or the “Project”) are as follows:
- For the quarter ended December 31, 2021, a total of 46,949 tonnes of ore were mined from the PureGold Mine, or an average of 510 tpd.
- For the year ended December 31, 2021, a total of 177,192 tonnes of ore were mined from the PureGold Mine, or an average of 485 tpd.
- Mined tonnes and gold grades have, on average, been lower than expected throughout 2021 due to shortages of high-grade ore at various times. High-grade ore shortages led to blending of low-grade material and stockpiles which reduced the overall feed grade to the mill. These shortages were caused by a combination of factors including development delays, insufficient scheduling flexibility, insufficient geologic information available for stopes prior to mining, equipment downtime, and strategic misalignments.
- Significant changes to mine planning and scheduling were implemented during the fourth quarter of 2021 to establish and maintain access to enough high-confidence, high-grade stopes to feed the mill, with early signs of positive progress evident in December’s operating results. These changes include reorganization of information and workflow structures, resulting in enhanced accountability and reduced assay turnaround times. Additionally, definition drilling activity was expanded to provide mine planners with better information in a timely manner leading to improved stope designs and enhanced scheduling flexibility. Finally, a geologic confidence-based model was implemented to standardize decision making and improve mine scheduling and planning. Together, these changes are expected to drive sustainable increases in both ore throughput and head grade, though will require more time to fully implement.
- For the quarter ended December 31, 2021, the PureGold Mine processed a total of 51,129 tonnes of ore, or an average of 556 tpd, at an average head grade of 4.8 grams of gold per tonne of ore (“g/t Au”) and achieved an average recovery of 95.3%.
- For the year ended December 31, 2021, the PureGold Mine processed a total of 208,874 tonnes of ore, or an average of 576 tpd, at an average head grade of 4.2 g/t Au and achieved an average recovery of 95.1%.
- The main operating units in the mill and process facility are performing as expected.
- Mill upgrades are planned for the gravity circuit which are expected to increase gravity recovery by 10-15% and overall gold recoveries by 1-2% to 96-97% from 95%. These upgrades are also expected to reduce operating costs by reducing cyanide dosages (consumption) in leaching, carbon in carbon-in-pulp (CIP), and metabisulfite/copper sulfate in the detox circuit.
- Several key upgrades were completed at the milling facilities during 2021 including the installation of interstage screens on each of the six CIP tanks, installation of a trommel screen on the SAG mill discharge, and several pump upgrades.
- The mill has demonstrated capability of operating consistently and reliably at and above its design capacity of 800 tpd.
- Significant progress was made in 2021 on permit amendments to increase annual ore production limits from 292,000 tonnes (800 tpd) to 360,000 tonnes (1,000 tpd), and final approval of the amendment is on track to be received well in advance of the current limit becoming a constraint on production.
- Gold production for the quarter ended December 31, 2021 was 7,565 ounces and gold production for the year ended December 31, 2021 was 26,899 ounces.
- Gold sold for the quarter ended December 31, 2021 was 7,100 ounces and gold sold for the year ended December 31, 2021 was 25,238 ounces.
- A limited program of surface exploration drilling was completed outside of the mine reserve footprint during the first quarter of the year as the Company was focused on production ramp-up. Drilling at the Derlak and Gap targets with two surface rigs initiated in January, was completed in March 2021. The two surface drill rigs completed 5,234 metres of drilling on four deep holes at Derlak and Gap targets during 2021 with strong alteration and anomalous gold values intersected warranting follow-up. No surface exploration was completed during the last three quarters of 2021. Exploration is expected to resume in the second half of 2022.
- On October 27, 2021, Maryse Belanger, PureGold Director, and experienced mine operator and builder, stepped into the role of Mine General Manager at the PureGold Mine, following retirement by the incumbent. In this role, Ms. Bélanger oversaw all of the day-to-day operations of the PureGold Mine.
- On January 4, 2022, Troy Fierro, PureGold Director and seasoned mining engineer, replaced Darin Labrenz as President & CEO. Chris Haubrich, PureGold Vice President Business Development, replaced Sean Tetzlaff as CFO. Ashley Kates, PureGold Corporate Controller, was promoted to Vice President Finance & Corporate Secretary.
- On February 17, 2022, Terrence Smith was appointed to the position of Chief Operating Officer and Bryan Wilson was appointed Vice President Mine General Manager of the PureGold Mine. Phil Smerchanski was promoted to Vice President Exploration & Technical Services. Maryse Bélanger remains on PureGold’s Board of Directors.
Technical Report Update
Work on an updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the PureGold Mine including satellite deposits Wedge, Russet South and Fork is underway. Following completion of the updated resource estimate, an updated Technical Report is expected to be completed including an updated Mineral Reserve. Expected timing for the updated Technical Report is in the second half of 2022.
Financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2021, and subsequent to date for the Company and its 100% owned PureGold Mine Project (“PureGold Mine”) or the (“Project”) are as follows:
- Mine operating loss of $13.2 million for the three months ended December 31, 2021. Mine operating loss of $19.1 million since the start of commercial production on August 1, 2021.
- Revenues, net of refining costs of $15.9 million for the three months ended December 31, 2021. Revenues, net of refining costs since the start of commercial production on August 1, 2021 of $31.9 million. Total proceeds received from gold sales for the year ended December 31, 2021 was $56.6 million.
- Net loss and comprehensive loss for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2021 totaled $17.8 million and $34.9 million, respectively.
- Basic and diluted loss per share for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2021 of $0.04 and $0.08, respectively.
- Cash balance as of December 31, 2021 of $8.5 million
- Total loans and borrowings as of December 31, 2021 of $123.4 million
- Gold Stream derivative liability as of December 31, 2021 of $44.7 million.
Operational and Financial Details
|For the three months ended December 31, 2021||For the year ended December 31, 20211|
|Average head grade||Grams per tonne gold||4.8||4.2|
|Average Price realized||$/ounce sold||$2,260||$2,247|
|Financial data (millions)|
|Mine operating loss||$||(13.2)||(19.1)|
|$ amounts in millions, except per share amounts||For the three months ended December 31, 2021||For the three months ended December 31, 2020||For the year ended December 31, 2021||For the year ended December 31, 2020|
|Mine operating loss||(13.2||)||—||(19.1||)||—|
|Exploration and evaluation||(0.1||)||(3.6||)||(3.7||)||(6.6||)|
|Corporate administrative costs||(2.5||)||(6.7||)||(7.5||)||(6.5||)|
|Interest and financing costs||(3.8||)||(0.0||)||(6.3||)||(0.2||)|
|Gain (loss) on fair value of derivative liabilities||(0.4||)||(9.8||)||(0.4||)||(16.7||)|
|Net loss and comprehensive loss for the period||$||(17.8||)||$||(16.2||)||$||(34.9||)||$||(26.9||)|
|Basic and diluted loss per common share||$||(0.04||)||$||(0.04||)||$||(0.08||)||$||(0.07||)|
Additional information regarding the Company’s financial results and activities underway at the Company’s PureGold Mine is available in the Company’s 2021 Annual Financial Statements and accompanying management’s discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2021.
Qualified Persons and 43-101 Disclosure
Terrence Smith, P.Eng., Chief Operating Officer for the Company, is the designated Qualified Person for this news release within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”) and has reviewed and verified that the technical information contained herein is accurate and approves of the written disclosure of same.
EARNINGS RELEASE AND CONFERENCE CALL DETAILS
PureGold will host its first Quarterly Conference Call on Thursday March 31st, 2022 at 9:00am PST.
Conference Call Dial-in Details:
Title: Pure Gold Mining Inc. Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results Conference Call
Conference ID: 10018408
Date of call: 03/31/2022
Time of call: 9:00 AM Pacific Time
Expected Duration: 60 minutes
PARTICIPANT TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Callers should dial in 5–10 min prior to the scheduled start time and simply ask to join our call.
Canada/USA TF: 1-800-319-4610
International Toll: +1-604-638-5340
A replay of the audio call will be available via the telephone numbers below and available until April 7th, 2022.
Canada/USA TF: 1-800-319-6413
International Toll: +1-604-638-9010
Replay Access Code: 8632
About Pure Gold Mining Inc.
PureGold is a Canadian gold mining company, located in the very heart of Red Lake, Ontario, Canada. Our vision is pure and simple. To build a highly profitable, multi-generational growth company in the world-class gold mining district of Red Lake. With our 100%-owned, fully constructed operating PureGold Mine, a multi-million-ounce gold endowment, and significant exploration upside, our value-maximizing strategy is to pursue operational excellence today, while investing in systematic exploration and phased expansions to fuel discovery and growth for the future.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Troy Fierro, President & CEO
Director, IR & Communications
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
All statements in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, are “forward-looking information” with respect to PureGold within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including, but not limited to statements with respect to those that address proposed timing of development plans for the PureGold Mine, including expectations regarding increasing ore throughput and timing of inventory; expectations regarding the new management team’s success in improving production and costs to the point of generating positive corporate cash flow in 2022; the proposed updated NI 43-101 Technical Report and timing and content of such Technical Report, including the life of mine plan; expectations regarding the effectiveness of new initiatives to improve stop access and result in increased throughput, improved grades and reduced costs in 2022; expectations regarding the success of the Fast Track Sills approach; expectation’s regarding Epiroc’s assessment and repair of the mobile equipment fleet and timing related thereto; expectations regarding ventilation planning and investment and its impact on ore production and lowering costs; timing of installation of three new electric air compressors and expectation that they will significantly improve equipment availability and utilization; construction of an on-site camp with full services and its impact on attracting top talent; achievement of minimum targets with respect to ore production, average head grade and reduction in monthly operating costs by the end of 2022 compared to 2021; potential for extending the mine life of the PureGold Mine; and potential for additional resources and expansion of known deposits and potential for making new discoveries and the focus of the Company in the coming months . Forward-looking information is often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as “seek”, “anticipate”, “plan”, “progress”, “confirms”, “continue”, “planned”, “expect”, “expectations”, “expand”, “enhanced”, “increasing”, “optimize”, “project”, “predict”, “potential”, “supports”, “targeting”, “intends”, “believe”, “improved”, “potential”, and similar expressions, or describes a “goal”, or variation , of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “should”, “confirms”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and is based upon a number of estimates and assumptions of management at the date the statements are made including, among others, assumptions about future prices of gold and other metal prices, currency exchange rates and interest rates, favourable operating conditions, political stability, obtaining governmental approvals and financing on time, obtaining renewals for existing licences and permits and obtaining required licences and permits, labour stability, stability in market conditions, availability of equipment, accuracy of any mineral resources, successful resolution of disputes and anticipated costs and expenditures. Many assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the control of PureGold and there is no assurance they will prove to be correct.
Such forward-looking information, involves known and unknown risks, which may cause the actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including, risks related to liquidity and the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern; mine closure and rehabilitation; failure to achieve estimates or material increases in costs; history of net losses and negative operating cash flow, indebtedness; interpretation of results at the PureGold Mine complex, including reserve and resource estimates may prove to be incorrect; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; current economic conditions; future prices of commodities; possible variations in grade or recovery rates; the costs and timing of the development of new deposits; failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; the failure of contracted parties to perform; the timing and success of exploration and development activities generally; delays in permitting; possible claims against the Company; the timing of future economic studies; labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals, financing or in the completion of exploration as well as those factors discussed in the Annual Information Form of the Company dated March 30, 2022 in the section entitled “Risk Factors”, under PureGold’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.
Although PureGold has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. PureGold disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise unless required by law.