Harte Gold Corp. [HRT-TSX; HRTFF-OTC; H4O-FSE] said Wednesday October 3 that it has commenced production at its Sugar Zone Mine, which is located 80 km east of the Hemlo Gold Camp in northern Ontario.
Harte said it has managed to get grid power to site, the mill has been energized, and the company has begun processing ore from its surface stockpile. Ore sill development has also resumed underground, the company said in a press release on Wednesday.
Commissioning of the mill complex and surface infrastructure is going very well and will be substantially complete within the next week.
“This is a significant accomplishment and successful conclusion to an accelerated timeline that saw construction started 14 months ago and completed with no lost time accidents,” said Harte Gold President and CEO Stephen Roman. “The company is very excited to announce to shareholders they can now look forward to the first gold pour within the next two weeks.”
Harte Gold shares rallied on the news, rising 3.57% or $0.015 to 43.5 cents on active volume of 2.74 million. The 52-week range is 29 cents and 59 cents.
The announcement comes after Harte recently received all necessary operating permits from the Government of Ontario to start commercial production at its Sugar Zone Mine.
Harte Gold is now fully permitted to mine, process ore and pour gold on site. Mining operations are currently expected to run for 12 years and will support further resource expansion drilling in the immediate vicinity of the mine and the ramp up of property-wide exploration programs.
Harte is focused on exploration and development of the 100%-owned Sugar Zone property, where it completed a 70,000-tonne advanced exploration bulk sample and mined 30,000 tonnes under its phase one commercial production permit. It also permitted and built an 800-tonne-per-day processing plant.
Harte Gold also holds the Stoughton Abitibi property on the Destor-Porcupine Fault Zone, east of Timmins, Ontario. That property is adjacent to the Holloway Gold Mine.
A resource estimate dated February 15, 2018, says the Sugar Zone project contains an indicated mineral resource estimate of 2.6 million tonnes, grading 8.52 g/t, or 714,200 ounces of contained gold and an estimated inferred resource of 3.59 million tonnes, grading 6.59 g/t or 760,800 ounces of contained gold.
Harte acquired the Sugar Zone property in May 2010 from Corona Gold Corp. (CRG-TSX), a company headed by mine financier Ned Goodman. At the time, Corona received cash payments, plus shares equal to a 9.9% stake in Harte.
Some of the exploration since then has focused on “Hemlo Style” mineralization to the east of the Sugar Zone. This is a reference to the famous Hemlo gold discoveries of the early 1980s, which were rich enough to support three mines – Williams, Golden Giant, and David Bell.