Kiena digs deeper: Wesdome Gold Mines sets up historic Quebec gold producer for a new future – by Carolyn Gruske (CIM Magazine – February 27, 2023)

Just before CIM Magazine went to press, Wesdome Gold Mines announced that its company president and CEO, and our primary source for this article, Duncan Middlemiss, had resigned. Middlemiss’s resignation follows on the release of the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2022 production results and 2023 guidance, which was issued on January 17, 2023.

The report was a difficult one for the company. Beyond the delays at Kiena that Middlemiss notes in our profile, Wesdome’s main producer, Eagle River in Ontario, underperformed due to “the variability of the Falcon Zone, which negatively impacted our ability to accurately forecast near-term production” and production in Q4 fell short of expectations, partially because of “severe snowstorms hindering [Wesdome’s] ability to truck the high-grade ore to the mill.”

The company’s total gold production fell just over 10 per cent in 2022, from 123,843 ounces in 2021 to 110,850 ounces last year. Wesdome’s board chair, Warwick Morley-Jepson, will serve as interim president and CEO. He previously held senior management positions with Ivanhoe Mines and Kinross Gold. Middlemiss will act in an advisory role for a short-term basis. The company has begun its search for a permanent successor.

Every mine has its own threshold for declaring itself ready for commercial production. The milestone that Wesdome Gold Mines used to say that the Kiena gold mine – a historic producer located near Val d’Or, Quebec – was ready was when the mine was able to return material removed from the ground back below the surface.

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