Titan Mining Corporation (“Titan” or the “Company”) today announced that, as part of the optimization of the Empire State Mine (“ESM”), the operation is being restructured with a near-term focus on underground development as well as continued near-mine and district exploration.
The mine will lower its throughput while focusing on stope and waste development. A revised mine plan, incorporating the #2D zone and the higher-grade New Fold zone in the #4 mine, is expected to be completed in mid-2019.
Donald Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of Titan, said, “During the ramp up at ESM, we have faced a number of challenges and, with our focus on production, we have fallen behind on mine rehabilitation and development. The changes being implemented will address the shortfall of producing stopes and faces with the goal of lowering our costs and better positioning the mine for future success. In order to optimize cash flow and productivity at ESM, we are reducing our workforce, but we expect to benefit from greater efficiencies associated with a smaller group of miners focused on production and development. With these changes, we expect to achieve balanced mine development while our exploration group continues its program targeting large, high-grade deposits in the district.”
As expected, in the fourth quarter of 2018, production at ESM was impacted by the transition from contractor-mining to owner-mining and a shift from the planned stopes to a lower-grade section of the mine. Mill throughput was 48,302 tons, or 525 tons per day, and milled grade was 6.2% zinc. In January 2019, the average daily mill throughput improved by 16%, and milled grade by 26%, from the prior quarter.
Richard Warke, Executive Chairman, stated, “Our team is working hard to secure a strong future for the mine and the community. Rightsizing is a hard decision, but it is also the right decision. We remain confident in the potential of this prolific district and continue to invest in both exploration and development at ESM.”
As previously announced, a company controlled by Titan’s Executive Chairman entered into a second ranking secured credit facility of up to US$18.7 million, maturing in December 2020.