Harte Gold has provided an update on construction activities and permitting at its Sugar Zone gold mining project. During construction, the company has successfully completed over 8 months with no lost time accidents. Surface construction of the crushing spread and mill complex is complete and commissioning is underway using on site generators. The 44 km power line pole construction from White River to site is complete and cable installation is
well underway. Transition to grid power is scheduled for September.
The Company is targeting full operational permits in September. Of the many permits needed for operations, only four remain outstanding. These applications represent amendments to existing permits and are significantly advanced with no material issues raised by the respective Ministries to date.
Redpath Canada mobilised to site in May and important underground mine development has been completed, including extensions of the main ventilation system, further development of the Sugar Zone North and South ramps
and access to the well-defined high grade Upper Zone mining block from the Sugar Zone South ramp.
Five mining levels are prepared for initial mining of ore once final permits are received. All necessary mining equipment for the current mine plan is on site or on schedule for delivery to facilitate ramp up to full production. Declaration of commercial production remains on track for Q4 2018, as per previous company guidance. The company is actively hiring for mill personnel, additional technical staff and other support roles and has
prioritised hiring to ensure critical roles are filled for operational readiness.
Stephen G. Roman, President and CEO of Harte Gold stated, “While we are disappointed with the historic delays to permitting, we have made adjustments to the construction and mining schedules that allow us to continue towards our stated commercial production target.” Roman added: “It is important to recognize that since we started developing the Sugar Zone Project, we have worked very closely with the respective Ministries of the Government of Ontario and have received numerous permits related to the 70,000 t Advanced Exploration Bulk Sample program, 30,000 t Phase I Commercial Production program, the mine access road, mill construction, hydro line construction, tailings management facility, property-wide exploration program and now– full commercial production. In 2016, the company made a decision to start construction based on the permits received, in an effort to streamline multiple work streams and fast-track to commercial production. At that time, the Crown indicated full permits would be issued in June 2018. We are disappointed the target date has moved, however, we have the full support of
our proximal First Nation, Pic Mobert, the town of White River and all communities surrounding the Sugar Zone mine. We are actively engaged with the respective Ministries to complete the permitting process.”
Harte Gold has installed a state-of-the-art water treatment facility in the mill building. This facility will treat all water at the project and the design of the mill complex has incorporated this treatment facility such that 98% of the water consumed during operation will be recycled or reused on site and within the mill.
Harte Gold has contracted Redpath for underground development work including drilling and blasting of access ramps, sill drives and haulage of material to surface. Foraco International SA has been awarded the long hole drill contract for stope development. While stope mining is on hold pending final permits, the company continues
with Sugar Zone underground development. For the month of June, Redpath completed 198 m of development, or 6.4 m per day, exceeding the planned 6.2 m per day, to extend the Sugar Zone North ramp and access drifts to the Upper Zone mining block from the Sugar Zone South Ramp. The Upper Zone, a high grade area that has returned positive drill results during definition drilling, will be one of the first areas to be mined during commercial production. Underground electrical work for the 13.8 kV power is complete. A temporary 600-13.8 kV step-up transformer has been installed to allow underground development to continue.