Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. [WDO-TSX; WDOFF-OTC] on Wednesday September 25 tabled an updated mineral resource estimate that features an increase in both grade and ounces of gold at its 100%-owned Kiena Mine Complex in Val d’Or, Quebec. The company said the updated results provide an opportunity to commence technical studies supporting a potential restart of the mine.
Wesdome shares advanced on the news, rising 3.8% or 24 cents to $6.54 on volume of 1.1 million. The shares are trading in a 52-week range of $3.30 and $7.81.
The updated estimate includes drill data as of August 6, 2019, and includes an additional 140 drill holes, for a total of 36,050 metres drilled since October 12, 2018. That marked the close out date for a mineral resource estimate announced on December 12, 2018.
Wesdome is Canada-focused with a pipeline of projects in various stages of development. Its aim is to become Canada’s next intermediate gold producer, with output of 200,000 plus ounces annually from two mines located in Ontario and Quebec.
Utilizing a central mill, Wesdome’s Eagle River Complex in Wawa, Ontario, is currently producing from two gold mines, the Eagle Underground mine and the Mishi Open pit.
The company has guided the market to anticipate production of between 72,000 and 80,000 ounces this year.
The Kiena Complex, a fully permitted former mine with a 930-metre shaft and 2,000 tonne-per-day mill.
Production there was suspended in 2013 after it was determined that the Kiena mine as not economically feasible to operate.
However, the company embarked on an aggressive underground drilling and development program in a bid to expand the current resource base by focusing on a potential up-plunge extension of the Kiena Deep A Zone, the A Zone at depth, as well as in-mine targets such as the VC and S-50 zones.
“Our goal with 2019’s program is to be able to make a restart decision later in the year,” the company has said.
In an update released on Wednesday, the company said it has increased Kiena Deep A Zone indicated resources from 99,300 ounces, grading 9.95 g/t gold in December 2018 to 405,100 ounces, grading 18.55 g/t.
In the same period, the company said it has increased the Kiena Deep A Zone inferred resource from 241,100 ounces, grading 11.43 g/t gold to 332,000 ounces, grading 15.27 g/t.
“We are very pleased with the updated mineral resource estimate at the Kiena Mine Complex,” said Wesdome President and CEO Duncan Middlemiss. “Our work has continued to grow and better define the high-grade Kiena Deep A Zones and we are confident that the mineral resources will increase as a result of the ongoing drilling of this high grade area, that remains open up and down plunge,” he said.
“These updated results provide us with the opportunity to commence our technical studies supporting a potential restart, as we continue to drill and expand the current resource base during the remainder of 2019 and beyond.”
Meanwhile, the company said work is underway on a Preliminary Economic Assessment, expected in the first half of 2020 and this will determine next steps and timing of potentially restarting mine operations.