Pure Gold Inc. is struggling to produce gold at a profit, the latest junior to encounter technical problems in Ontario’s notoriously tricky-to-mine Red Lake region.
The Vancouver-based gold miner, which is backed by industry heavyweights such as Eric Sprott and Robert McEwen, has experienced a slew of issues underground since starting up its Madsen mine in Red Lake, about 550 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay.
The company poured its first gold in December of last year, but initial production and ore grade at the mine has been dramatically lower than expected. In the first quarter, Pure Gold produced about 4,000 ounces, compared with the 13,700 ounces the company’s feasibility study had predicted.
The company has since been forced to build more stopes – discrete areas excavated within a mine – to try to access higher-grade ore, which has driven up its expenditures. Its costs to mine an ounce of gold are running at about US$1,700, more than double what was predicted and not far off the metal’s current trading price near US$1,800.
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