TORONTO, Aug. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — HARTE GOLD CORP. (“Harte Gold” or the “Company”) (TSX: HRT / OTC: HRTFF / Frankfurt: H4O) is pleased to provide the following update on construction activities and permitting.
- 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 Limited (“Redpath”) mobilized 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 prioritized hiring to ensure critical roles are filled for operational readiness.
Mr. 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.”
Mr. 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 tonne Advanced Exploration Bulk Sample program, 30,000 tonne 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.”
To start commercial production, Harte Gold requires four remaining permits. The following table summarizes key permitting that has been received, permits under review and expected timelines:
|Permit||Permit Received||Expected Timing for Permits||Comments|
|Phase I Commercial Production Closure Plan||Yes||X|
|Process Plant Construction||Yes||X|
|Forest Resource License||Yes||X|
|Land Use Permit||Yes||X|
|Location Approval For Tailings Facility||Yes||X|
|Fisheries Act Permit||Yes||X|
|Encroachment Permit For Power Line||Yes||X|
|Air ECA Amendment||No||
|Closure Plan Amendment For Final Production||No||
|Amendment to Permit to Take Water For Commercial Production||No||
|Industrial Sewage ECA Amendment||No||
Water Treatment Plant
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 signed an IBA (Impact Benefits Agreement) with Pic Mobert First Nation, who are proximal to the Project (see press release dated May 2, 2018). Pic Mobert and Pic River First Nation are situated in the same watershed as the Project and have confirmed no outstanding concerns related to the Project. The Ontario Government is engaged in “low level” consultation with three other First Nation Bands, which have asserted aboriginal and/or treaty rights in the vicinity of the Project. These First Nation Bands are situated outside the Project watershed and their assertions are opposed by the two proximal First Nation Bands. Harte Gold has supported the Crown’s efforts by providing information regarding the Project at several meetings. Harte Gold anticipates this process will come to a close by the end of August.
Power Line and Transformer Station Construction
Power line completion originally scheduled for July is targeted for completion by end of August. Pole installation to site is now complete and electrical wiring is approximately 55% completed. The delivery of a 13.8 kV transformer, which will be used for powering underground mining has been delayed following an increase in global demand for transformers unrelated to the Project. The Company has arranged a temporary solution allowing it to use the existing 600 volt generators and a step-up transformer to continue underground development on schedule.
A Transformer Station At Site photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/04ce84d1-83b4-4f8d-8da8-f59412b5fb15
A Power Line Installation photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/06fd9e61-015e-42af-9ecd-0d2b92086843
Surface Construction and Commissioning
Mill, crusher and conveyor construction is now complete and approved for “power on”. Minimal piping and instrumentation work remains and will be completed by early August. A crusher feed conveyor is also being installed, which will replace the need for an access ramp to feed the jaw crusher from the run-of-mine ore stockpile.
The majority of commissioning can be accomplished ahead of final permitting and energizing of the power line. The following will be completed during the month of August:
- Full commissioning of the crushing system for stockpiling of ore ahead of the mill feed
- Testing of interlocks and communication systems
- Power-up of motors and running the plant with recirculating water
- Testing of all systems for leaks and any other operational issues
A temporary 4 kV generator has been mobilized to site to support mill commissioning activities.
A Sugar Zone Mine Process Plant photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/e2f0c806-3ffb-493f-b303-8876225c95dd
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 (“Foraco”) 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 metres of development, or 6.4 metres per day, exceeding the planned 6.2 metres per day, to extend the Sugar Zone North ramp and access drifts to the Upper Zone mining block from the Sugar Zone South Ramp (see image below). The Upper Zone, a high grade area that has returned positive drill results during definition drilling (see press release dated July 23, 2018), 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.
A Sugar Zone Mine Underground Development photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/83c36b8a-da66-40b7-81fb-f37ec14f4d69
A Sugar Zone Mine – Upper Zone Mining Block photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/5f495706-4c37-4dfb-8f10-32821796d8cf
The Company has implemented a quality assurance and control (“QA/QC”) program to ensure sampling and analysis of mine and exploration work is conducted in accordance with industry standards. Drill core is sawn in half with one half of the core shipped to Actlabs Laboratories located in Thunder Bay, ON, while the other half is retained at the Company’s core facilities in White River, ON, for future verification. Certified reference standards and blanks are inserted into the sample stream on a regular interval basis and monitored as part of the QA/QC program. Gold analysis is performed by fire assay using atomic absorption, gravimetric or pulp metallic finish. The Mineral Resource Estimate was prepared in compliance with NI 43-101 guidelines. Robert Kusins, P. Geo., Harte Gold’s Senior Mineral Resource geologist, is the Company’s Qualified Person and has prepared, supervised the preparation, or approved the scientific and technical disclosure in this news release.
About Harte Gold Corp.
Harte Gold Corp. is focused on the exploration and development of its 100% owned Sugar Zone Property where it completed a 70,000 tonne Advanced Exploration Bulk Sample, mined 30,000 tonnes under its Phase I Commercial Production Permit and is permitted and built an 800 tonne per day processing plant. The Sugar Zone Property is located 80 kilometres east of the Hemlo Gold Camp in Ontario. Using a 3 g/t Au cut-off, the Mineral Resource Estimate dated February 15, 2018 contains an Indicated Mineral Resource Estimate of 2,607,000 tonnes grading 8.52 g/t for 714,200 ounces of contained gold and an Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate of 3,590,000 tonnes, grading 6.59 g/t for 760,800 ounces of contained gold. Harte Gold also holds the Stoughton-Abitibi property located on the Destor-Porcupine Fault Zone, east of Timmins, Ontario, and adjacent to the Holloway Gold Mine.
|For further information, please contact:
Stephen G. Roman
President and CEO
Email: [email protected]
Vice President, Corporate Development
E-mail: [email protected]
The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.