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Wesdome Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2022 Production Results; Provides 2023 Guidance

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Wesdome Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2022 Production Results; Provides 2023 Guidance

 

 

 

 

 

Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. (TSX: WDO) announces fourth quarter and full year 2022 production results and 2023 guidance. All figures are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated.

 

2022 Operating Performance

 

  Q4 2022 Q4 2021 FY 2022 FY 2021
         
Ore milled (tonnes)        
Eagle River 58,306 56,159 223,734 228,759
Mishi 6,215 23,153 36,508
Kiena 51,419 38,000 115,171 68,470
  109,725 100,374 362,058 333,737
         
Head grade (grams per tonne, “g/t”)        
Eagle River 14.0 13.7 11.5 13.8
Mishi 2.1 3.2 2.4
Kiena 5.9 14.1 7.9 10.4
         
Gold production (ounces)        
Eagle River 25,502 24,267 79,997 99,120
Mishi 363 2,005 2,283
Kiena 9,614 16,929 28,848 22,440
Total Gold Production 35,116 41,559 110,850 123,843
Production sold2 31,500 37,544 113,000 118,501

 

Notes:

  1. Numbers may not add due to rounding.
  2. YTD 2021 production sold includes 1,793 ounces of gold sold from the Kiena bulk sample which was processed in Q4 2020 and sold in Q1 2021.

 

Duncan Middlemiss, President and CEO of Wesdome, commented:

 

“2022 was a challenging year for the Company, with production misses at both assets. At Eagle, underperformance was primarily related to the variability of the Falcon Zone, which negatively impacted our ability to accurately forecast near term production. The Falcon Zone mineralization has a high nugget effect and we have experienced both positive and negative reconciliations since we commenced mining this area in Q4 of 2021. With the implementation of short-term block models, improved reconciliation procedures, and an increased inventory of drilled reserves, near term grade projections are improving. Production in Q4 2022 was below expectations as a result of the planned higher grades at the Falcon Zone slipping into Q1 2023, partially due to severe snowstorms hindering our ability to truck the high-grade ore to the mill. Preliminary milled ore grades for the first two weeks of January have been strong at 17 g/t. For the 2023 budget we have taken a conservative approach and mitigated the risk of the variability of this zone by applying tighter drilling spacing and having additional ore development in place to improve forecasting within the Falcon Zone.

 

At Kiena, supply chain delays unfortunately put us approximately six months behind schedule on our original commercial production date, and 9 – 12 months behind on ramp development, thereby limiting mining operations to lower grade areas of the mine. Ore is planned to be extracted from the S-50, VC, and Martin Zones as well as existing A-Zone stopes, the latter of which require remediation with paste fill to facilitate adjacent mining. All equipment is now on site and operational, with the paste fill plant successfully commissioned and performing well. Successful execution of ramp development in 2023 will provide access to the much wider part of the high grade A Zone in 2024, where ounces per vertical metre increase significantly. Accessing this portion of the A-Zone was originally scheduled in the Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) for the latter half of 2023 when the ramp reaches the 129 sublevel, which is now scheduled by the end of the year. A complete five-sublevel mining front will be developed from the 123 sublevel by year end to allow for bottom up mining, which is preferable for optimum ground and ore control.

 

2023 Guidance

 

Amounts are denominated in Canadian dollars, or otherwise indicated Guidance
   
Gold production (ounces) 110,000 – 130,000
Eagle River 80,000 – 90,000
Kiena 30,000 – 40,000
   
Head grade (g/t)  
Eagle River 11.5 – 12.5
Kiena 3.7 – 4.7
   
Cash cost per ounce sold1 $1,500 – $1,670
US$1,150-US$1,290
   
All-in sustaining cost per ounce sold1 $2,100 – $2,340
US$1,620 – US$1,800
   
Total general and corporate administration expense $13 – 15 million
   
Total budget capital spend $100 million
   
Sustaining capital $55 million
Eagle River $42 million
Kiena $13 million
   
Growth capital $45 million
Eagle River
Kiena $45 million
   
Planned definition and exploration program (metres)2 137,000
Eagle River 97,000
Kiena 40,000
   
  1. Cash cost per ounce sold and All-in sustaining cost per ounce are non-IFRS measures, please reference the Company’s interim management discussion and analysis for the period ended September 30, 2022, filed on SEDAR for their calculations.
  2. Includes 40,000 metres and 10,000 metres of definition drilling at Eagle River and Kiena, respectively.

 

Looking ahead, 2023 will be a consolidation year for the Company as we leverage the experience from 2022 to better forecast production at Eagle River (particularly the Falcon Zone), and advance development at Kiena to increase our developed reserves by year end. While total capital spending in 2023 is expected to be lower relative to last year, some growth capex at Kiena remains to be spent as we catch-up on delayed ramp development, gaining access to the area of the A Zone where gold production approaches the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) levels forecast for 2024. Capital outlays are then expected to decline in 2024 as the majority of growth spending comes to an end. As such, operational and financial performance overall is expected to significantly improve in 2024.

 

Despite recent headwinds, on the exploration front we remain excited about what the future holds at both assets. With approximately 137,000 metres of drilling budgeted for 2023, exploration activities will prioritize opportunities to extend mineralization near existing mine infrastructure. At Eagle River, we see strong potential in the targets adjacent to the mine diorite and the up-plunge extension of the Falcon Zone (see press release dated October 5, 2022). At Kiena, we plan to better define and extend recently discovered zones (see press release dated June 1, 2022) and prepare the Presqu’ile zone for future development.”

 

Technical Disclosure

 

The technical content of this release has been compiled, reviewed and approved by Frédéric Langevin, Eng, Chief Operating Officer of the Company, and Michael Michaud, P.Geo., Vice President, Exploration of the Company and both a “Qualified Person” as defined in National Instrument 43-101 –Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

 

ABOUT WESDOME

 

Wesdome is a Canadian focused gold producer with two high grade underground assets, the Eagle River mine in Ontario and the recently commissioned Kiena mine in Quebec. The Company also retains meaningful exposure to the Moss Lake gold deposit in Ontario through its equity position in Goldshore Resources Inc. The Company’s primary goal is to responsibly leverage this operating platform and high-quality brownfield and greenfield exploration pipeline to build Canada’s next intermediate gold producer.

 

Posted January 18, 2023

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