PRECIOUS METALS

Wesdome tips longer life at Kiena after drill result

A production increase and mine-life extension could be in line for Wesdome’s Kiena gold mine complex in Quebec, Canada, following new drill results, the company said on February 8. 

Nathan Richardson
Wesdome's Kiena project in Canada

Wesdome's Kiena project in Canada

"As per the 2021 pre-feasibility study, completed prior to the Footwall zone discovery, the life-of-mine average yearly production is 83,574 ounces, with costs declining materially in 2024 once higher output levels are realised," Wesdome's president and CEO Duncan Middlemiss said. 

"However, with the discovery of the Footwall zone, and most recently with the Hanging Wall basalt zone, we expect these new zones could extend the LOM and have the potential to increase annual production, given the increase reserve ounces per vertical metre," he added. 

Wesdome was expecting commercial production in the April-June quarter of this year. Total 2022 production was forecast at 64,000-75,000 ounces. The life of mine stood at seven years. 

Canaccord Genuity Capital Markets analyst Michael Fairbairn said CG expected the mine life would extend through to 2031. 

"We flag that today's drill results delivered grades comparable to the existing 602,000oz P&P gold reserve grading 11.9 grams per tonne, and believe that any future resource additions from the A zones are likely to be value accretive as WDO will be able to leverage existing infrastructure," Fairbairn said. 

Wesdome said highlights from the drilling were 74.6g/t Au over 30.0m core length (24.8g/t Au capped, 5.0m true width) in the A1 Zone; 38.3g/t Au over 37.3m core length (18.2g/t Au capped, 6.0m true width) in the A zone; and 35.9g/t Au over 30.3m core length (27.0g/t Au capped, 7.0m true width) in the A Zone. 

"We are pleased with the recent underground drilling that continues to define the high-grade A zone and now confirms the extent of the subparallel Footwall zone, which we expect to grow further with continued drilling," Middlemiss said. 

Wesdome also has the Eagle River underground mine in Wawa, Ontario, which is producing gold at a rate of 92,000-105,000oz/year. 

The company's goal was to be Canada's next intermediate gold producer, with the two mines producing over 200,000oz/y. 

Wesdome traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange at C$12.60/share on February 8, which was up 7% day-on-day. The stock's 52-week high/low range was C$13.52/C$7.78. 

The company had a market capitalisation of C$1,784 million. 

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