Primero Mining Corp. today announced an update of activities at its operating mines, the San Dimas gold-silver mine located in Durango, Mexico and the Black Fox mine located near Timmins, Ontario, Canada.
Primero continues to see operational improvements at both of its mines, and the Company remains on-track to achieve its 2017 production guidance of between 140,000 to 170,000 ounces of gold equivalent1.
San Dimas Restart On-Track
Primero is advancing the restart of the San Dimas mine following the resumption of operations on April 17, 2017. Daily throughput rates have been increasing as per plan, and opportunities for further productivity improvements have been identified. Primero remains confident in the site's ability to achieve its 2017 production guidance of 90,000 to 110,000 gold equivalent ounces.
San Dimas' unionized workers have been responding well to the new shift structure and implementation of the realigned bonus structure is underway. Relations between management and the unionized employees have been improving, and dialogue remains ongoing with regard to the annual bonus payout relating to 2016.
Black Fox Produced ~8,200 Gold Ounces in May
Black Fox produced approximately 8,200 ounces of gold in May 2017. The strong performance in May principally resulted from improved and more consistent mining rates from the underground as well as better-than-expected grades from the Deep Central Zone. The mine continues to operate at a cash-flow neutral state, fully-funding its exploration programs, and Black Fox expects to achieve 2017 production guidance of 50,000 to 60,000 gold ounces.
Primero is planning a deep drilling program to assess the extension and continuity of the Black Fox deposit between 1.0 kilometres and 1.5 kilometres below surface. Primero will advance this deep exploration program subject to capital availability.
As previously announced, the Company's Board of Directors has commenced a strategic review process to explore alternatives to improve shareholder value. The alternatives include such things as securing additional financing, strategic investments, joint ventures, revision of the Company's streaming agreement and asset sales.
Primero is working to gain re-compliance with the New York Stock Exchange's continued listing standards by delivering improved operational performance and advancing its strategic review process. Primero notes that the NYSE will initiate delisting action if a curative measure is not implemented by September 30, 2017.
(1) "Gold equivalent ounces" include silver ounces produced, and converted to a gold equivalent based on a ratio of the average commodity prices realized for each period. The ratio for the first quarter 2017 for San Dimas was based on realized prices of $1,210 per ounce of gold and $4.28 per ounce of silver.