Pure Gold Mining Inc. [PGM-TSXV] said Tuesday it has made pro-active executive management changes that better align operational requirements with professional expertise. It said Troy Fierro, a company director and seasoned mining engineer, has replaced Darin Labrenz as President and CEO. Labrenz is stepping down from the board. Chris Haubrich, Vice-President, Business Development, has replaced Sean Tetzlaff as CFO. Ashley Kates, Corporate Controller, has been promoted to the role of Vice-President Finance & Corporate Secretary.
All changes took effect on January 1, 2022.
“Today’s changes are consistent with the company’s transition to a culture of operational excellence,” Fierro said. “As the Pure Gold Mine continues to evolve and grow, so too does the repertoire of skills needed in our executive leadership team to ensure ongoing success,” he said.
“Together, this revitalized leadership group is ideally suited to steer the company through full ramp-up and execute our vision of building a multi-generational Canadian gold mining company rooted in the heart of Red Lake.”
Pure Gold recently became a gold producer when it delivered on a promise to build Canada’s newest gold mine in the heart of Red Lake, Ontario. The first gold was poured on December 29, 2020.
That marked the return to life of the former Madsen mine, which is situated in the Red Lake area, an established mining district with more than 29 million ounces of high-grade gold production to date. Interest in the region is being fueled by high grade gold discoveries at Great Bear Resources Ltd.’s [GBR-TSXV] 100%-owned Dixie Lake project.
Madsen produced 2.5 million ounces between 1938 and 1976. The project benefits from existing infrastructure, including a mill and tailings facility, paved highway access, and access to power, water and experienced labour.
“Today we have a fully-built mine site with an 800 tonne-per-day mill, currently achieving over 95% recoveries which can operate at 125% of nameplate capacity,” Fierro said. “Despite that success, much work remains to unlock the mine’s full potential.”
He said the key challenge to date has been maintaining access to enough high-confidence, high-grade stopes to provide high-grade ore to the mill. “Shortages of high-grade ore at various times have led to blending of low-grade development material and stockpiles which has reduced the overall feed grade to the mill,” Fierro said.
“These shortages were caused by a combination of factors including development delays, insufficient scheduling flexibility, insufficient geologic information available for stopes prior to mining, equipment downtime, and strategic misalignments.”
Fierro said significant changes to mine planning and scheduling were implemented during the fourth quarter of 2021 to address these underlying causes, with early signs of positive progress evident in December’s operational results.
For the month of December, 2021, the Pure Gold mine averaged 662 tonnes per day of ore milled at a grade of 6.1 g/t gold with 96% recovery for 3,905 ounces of gold produced. Production in the fourth quarter of 2021 amounted to 7,657 ounces, compared to 9,260 ounces in the third quarter of 2021, and 6,287 ounces in the 2021 second quarter.
On December 31, 2021, Pure Gold shares were unchanged at 68 cents and trade in a 52-week range ofÂ $2.69 and 64.5 cents.