"This year, as a result of our efficiency improvements and mine plan optimizations, we expect to produce between 34,000 to 36,000 oz Au."
What was Elevation Gold’s production in 2022, and what is your expectation for 2023?
In 2022, the Moss mine produced 31,094 oz Au, slightly below our sales guidance range of 32,000 to 34,000 oz. To achieve our future production goals, improve operational efficiencies and reduce costs, we changed mining contractors at year end and brought on Ledcor, a well-known contract miner. Although the switch caused some year-end disruptions, we have now begun reaping the benefits of Ledcor’s expertise and operational efficiencies. This year, as a result of our efficiency improvements and mine plan optimizations, we expect to produce between 34,000 to 36,000 oz.
What were some of the investments you have made, and control measures the company has implemented?
In June 2023, we commenced the construction of a new 3A-Ph2 leach pad. This involves an approximate expenditure of US$9.5 million and is expected to be finalized by October 2023, providing us with sufficient leach pad capacity until the end of 2025. Moreover, in 2022, we constructed two water wells, enhancing our on-site water production capabilities to meet all our operational needs. We have improved our control measures for the heap leaching processing, focusing on pH levels and cyanide dosage. By fine-tuning our lime dosage, we halved the cyanide consumption compared to the beginning of 2022. Additionally, we integrated advanced and sophisticated leach models that enable us to forecast and anticipate gold recovery more accurately, providing valuable insights into both the expected yield and the timing of the recovery process.
Can you speak about the exploration potential of Reynolds Pit and Mordor Area?
We recently drilled intercepts that were the best-ever encountered at the property and were much better than we hoped to find at the more-remote Florence Hill exploration area. The Reynolds pit and the Mordor Area are adjacent to the Moss mine, and that area can be mined much sooner than Florence Hill.
These targets are situated on fully permitted ground, enabling us to commence mining operations promptly upon discovery and adequate definition, making them more favorable locations than remote areas. The exploration results in these areas have exceeded our expectations, revealing higher-quality ore than initially planned for our 2024 budget.
We now anticipate remaining within the currently permitted ground for a number of years, during which time we can construct leach pads and waste dumps and carry out mining activities. This time frame allows us to pursue permit applications and secure approval for expanding our boundaries, allowing us to extend mine development for an additional time period.
The assay results for Mordor and Reynolds Pit areas are very promising, and we have already begun preparations for mining in the Mordor area as part of our 2023 plans. Regarding Reynolds, although further drilling is required, the indications suggest a more continuous mineralization with a higher grade than the West Pit mining area. Once additional drilling is completed, we will incorporate these findings into our 2024 mining plan.
What is the company’s immediate focus on exploration, and what is the state of Florence Hill?
For the short term, we will focus on the Reynolds Pit and Mordor area. Following that we will resume exploring the mineralized material beneath the Moss mine crusher facility. Our drilling efforts have intersected significant ore grade material in the Ruth Vein, and in-between the Ruth vein and the Moss Vein to the north is not adequately drilled. We think the area is very promising.
At Florence Hill, although we have not yet hit the extensive porphyry-type system we anticipated, our drilling effort has shown promising indicators; however, that is not an immediate area of focus.
How has the performance of gold been in recent months, and what impact has it had on investor sentiment?
The performance of gold price has been robust. If you are an investor, I believe there has never been a better time to invest in American producing gold assets. Investors are increasingly supporting large mining companies, and we believe this positive sentiment will filter down to junior companies once the recognition of the disconnect between intrinsic values and current market capitalizations becomes clear.
The entire sector of junior mining companies seems to be undervalued. We believe that when the price of gold sustains US$2,250/oz, there will be a rush of investment activity.