Monday, 14 January 2013

Timmins Gold forecasts gold production growth for 2013 after record output in 2012


Timmins Gold Corp. (TSE:TMM)(NYSE MKT:TGD) reported Friday record gold production in 2012 as a result of ongoing process improvements at its San Francisco mine in Mexico, saying production growth is expected to continue this year. 
The Vancouver-based gold producer reported gold output of 94,444 ounces in 2012, versus 74,241 ounces in 2011.
The latest figure included 24,556 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter - up 14 per cent from a year earlier. The company also produced 56,252 ounces of silver for the full year, including 16,203 ounces in the last quarter. 
"The strong operating quarter was the result of our commitment to our ongoing process improvements," said CEO Bruce Bragagnolo. 
"Stage 2 of our crusher expansion is now complete and we exited 2012 processing 22,000 t/d and had a record production month of 9,349 ounces of gold during December 2012."
Crushing capacity is scheduled to reach more than 24,000 tonnes per day early this year, as Timmins "fine tunes" the crushing circuit. The third stage of the company's expansion will take the crushing capacity to in excess of 30,000 tonnes per day - scheduled to come on line at the end of the second quarter. 
The gold miner's CEO also said production is forecast to grow even more this year, to between 125,000 to 130,000 ounces of gold in 2013. 
During the fourth quarter, the company placed 18.5 per cent more gold ounces on pads than it did a year earlier, and processed an average of 12.5 per cent more ore per day, at 16,235 tonnes. 
The average gold grade was also 5.3 per cent higher at 0.819 grams per tonne (g/t), versus 0.778 g/t in the year-ago period. 
Last year, the company completed a series of improvements to its process, including the replacement of existing conveyors with larger ones to meet increased crushing and stacking capacity. 
Timmins also drilled more than 100,000 metres, which resulted in the discovery of three new zones of mineralization at the La Chicharra pit, and the extension of mineralization along strike 800 metres to the east of the San Francisco pit. 
One of the new zones, called San Francisco East, has seen intercepts such as 4.5 metres of 4.55 grams per tonne g/t gold and 7.5 metres of 2.19 g/t gold in hole TFD-128. 
The San Francisco mine is comprised of two pits, the larger San Francisco pit and the La Chicharra pit - located approximately 1.5 km to the west. 
The company noted that it worked to cut down costs at the mine last year, with the signing of a new cyanide supply contract, as well as a new mining contract in the fourth quarter. These cost cutting measures resulted in lower costs beginning at the start of the latest three month period, it said.                
Timmins Gold's stock closed at $2.94 on Thursday and is up more than 56 per cent in the last six months. 

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