K92 Mining Inc. [KNT-TSXV; KNTNF-OTRCQX] reported that production in the first quarter at its Kainantu gold mine in Papua New Guinea was 18,654 ounces of gold equivalent, or 17,774 oz of gold, 426,153 pounds of copper and 7,925 oz of silver.
Record quarterly plant throughput with 73,221 tonnes processed, representing a 54% increase from Q1 2020. Throughput included six consecutive weeks in January and February achieving an average throughput of ~1,000 tonnes per day (tpd), with 18 days exceeding 1,100 tpd, 8 days exceeding 1,200 tpd, and a daily record of 1,315 tpd over this period.
Quarterly production in Q1 of 18,654 oz of gold equivalent (AuEq) or 17,774 oz gold, 426,153 lbs copper and 7,925 oz silver.
Long hole stoping continuing to perform well and to design on both the K1 and K2 veins, with stoping operations interrupted for ~3 weeks in March and recommenced near the end of the quarter, following an incident involving an underground loader, which prevented backfilling operations. Production from four high grade stopes were deferred to Q2, resulting in the plant treating a larger amount of lower grade stockpile material during Q1, while benefiting Q2 production.
There was a strong financial position with balance sheet strengthening during Q1. During the quarter, K92 fully repaid the outstanding loan balance of US$5 million and increased its cash balance by US$15 million, ending the quarter with a historically high cash balance of US$66 million.
John Lewins, CEO, stated, “Despite multiple short term and unexpected events in the quarter as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions, loader incident and international bulk emulsion shipping issues, the operation has continued to make considerable progress. On the process plant, we continue to test the ultimate throughput potential and it appears to be greater than the 1,100 tpd nameplate as demonstrated with several throughput records achieved during the quarter.”