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Edited Transcript of WDO.TO earnings conference call or presentation 22-Feb-19 3:00pm GMT

Q4 2018 Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd Earnings Call

TORONTO Mar 1, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd earnings conference call or presentation Friday, February 22, 2019 at 3:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Ben Au

Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - CFO

* Duncan Middlemiss

Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director

* Heather Anne Laxton

Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - Chief Governance Officer & Corporate Secretary

* Lindsay Carpenter Dunlop

Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - VP of IR

* Marc-Andre Pelletier

Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - COO

* Michael Michaud

Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - VP of Exploration

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Conference Call Participants

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* Craig Philip Stanley

Eight Capital, Research Division - Principal & Precious Metals Analyst

* George Justice Topping

Industrial Alliance Securities Inc., Research Division - Equity Research Analyst

* John Charles Tumazos

John Tumazos Very Independent Research, LLC - President and CEO

* Philip Ker

PI Financial Corp., Research Division - Precious Metals Analyst

* Ryan Walker

Echelon Wealth Partners Inc., Research Division - Analyst

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Wesdome Gold Mines Fourth Quarter and Full year 2018 Financial Results Conference Call.

I will now turn the call over to Heather Laxton to begin today's call.

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Heather Anne Laxton, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - Chief Governance Officer & Corporate Secretary [2]

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Great. Thanks, operator, and good morning, everyone. We appreciate you all taking time to join us today. Before we begin, we'd like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that during this call we'll discuss our business outlook and make forward-looking statements. These comments are based on our predictions and expectations as of today. Actual events or results could cause outcomes to differ materially due to a number of risks and uncertainties, including those mentioned in the detailed cautionary note contained in yesterday's press release and in the company's management discussion and analysis dated February 21, 2019. Both documents are available on our website and on SEDAR.

Please note that all figures discussed on this call are in Canadian dollars, unless otherwise stated. The slides used for this presentation and the recording of this call will be posted on the company's website.

So here in the room this morning, we have Duncan Middlemiss, President and CEO.

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [3]

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Good morning.

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Heather Anne Laxton, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - Chief Governance Officer & Corporate Secretary [4]

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Ben Au, Chief Financial Officer.

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Ben Au, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - CFO [5]

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Hello. This is Ben Au.

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Heather Anne Laxton, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - Chief Governance Officer & Corporate Secretary [6]

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Marc-Andre Pelletier, Chief Operating Officer.

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Marc-Andre Pelletier, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - COO [7]

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Hello. This is Marc-Andre.

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Heather Anne Laxton, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - Chief Governance Officer & Corporate Secretary [8]

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Mike Michaud, Vice President, Exploration.

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Michael Michaud, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - VP of Exploration [9]

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Good morning.

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Heather Anne Laxton, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - Chief Governance Officer & Corporate Secretary [10]

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And Lindsay Carpenter Dunlop, Vice President, Investor Relations.

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Lindsay Carpenter Dunlop, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - VP of IR [11]

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Good morning, everyone.

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Heather Anne Laxton, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - Chief Governance Officer & Corporate Secretary [12]

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And with that, it's over to Lindsay for a review of the agenda for today's call.

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Lindsay Carpenter Dunlop, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - VP of IR [13]

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Thanks, Heather. We will begin today with Duncan going over our 2018 results and 2019 guidance. Then Marc-Andre will provide a more detailed operational review. Ben will then take us through a financial review. And after this, Ducan will discuss the Eagle River Complex reserve update. And then Mike will detail the resources and upcoming exploration strategy. Finally, Duncan will conclude with the summary and outlook, before we open up the line to the question-and-answer session.

Duncan, please go ahead.

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [14]

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Great. Thanks, Lindsay. First and foremost, I'd like to congratulate the Wesdome team for delivering a solid year, incorporating safety with strong operational and financial performance. So on behalf of management and the board of directors, I just want to thank everyone for a job very well done.

We started 2018 thinking we would produce about 62,000 to 68,000 ounces from the Eagle River Complex. After the second quarter, we're already 15% ahead of our own internal budget, with year-to-date production of about 35,000 ounces. This, combined with the commencement of mining the first stope in the wide high grade 303 lens in the second half of the year, necessitated a raise in production guidance. At that time, we raised guidance to 70,000 to 75,000 ounces -- finishing the year at the midpoint of that guidance with about 71,600 ounces of gold produced, with grades at Eagle averaging about 11.7 grams per tonne, the top end of our grade guidance.

Our cost performance in 2018 has also beat expectations. When we increased guidance after Q2, we consequently lowered our cost guidance. Both our cash cost and our all-in sustaining cost came in below our re-guidance due to higher mine grades, better underground efficiencies and tighter dilution controls. Our cost is becoming much more competitive. We have lowered our cost year-over-year and expect a further reduction in operating costs in 2019.

This year, we expect to produce 72,000 to 80,000 ounces of gold primarily from the Eagle River Underground mine. Mishi's contribution will be much less. I'll talk about that later in the call.

Eagle grade guidance for the year is 15.5 to 16.5 grams per tonne, higher than the reserve grade just due to where we are in the stope sequence. As a result, we expect lower cash cost this year, but flat all-in sustaining cost due to more sustaining development and in-mine exploration.

I will now hand the call over to Marc-Andre to detail some of the operational results in the fourth quarter of this year.

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Marc-Andre Pelletier, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - COO [15]

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Thanks, Duncan. The fourth quarter was lighter on production and grade due to stope sequencing, preventing maintenance work at the mill, resulting in a lower mill availability of around 80% and a focus on development work in the underground mine.

In mid-2017, we announced our strategy to increase production from the Eagle River Underground mine and taper off production from the Mishi Open Pit to eventually fill the mill with 100% of Eagle River ore, which is approximately 800 tonnes per day.

For the year, production at Eagle River increased by 32% over 2017 to 67,300 ounces of gold. Ore feed from the Eagle River mine increased by 18% over 2017 and grade increased by 11% to 11.7 gram per tonne, very close to our reserve grade. The contribution of ore feed from Mishi in 2018 was reduced by 54% to 70,600 tonnes from 152,500 tonnes processed in 2017 as more selective mining is employed for purposes of improving ore grade.

In 2018, the Mishi pit achieved a head grade of 2.3 gram per tonne, producing 4,300 ounces of gold as compared to a grade of 2 gram per tonne achieved in 2017, producing near 8,000 ounces of gold. As a result of the above, combined throughout in 2018 decreased by 17% from 2017 as Wesdome's strategy is to refocus production from the higher grade, higher margin Eagle River Underground mine.

In connection with this strategy, in 2019 we expect to further reduce the tonnes from Mishi for an 80:20 Eagle River/Mishi production split for the year. 2019's primary focus is to develop additional underground reserves along the parallel structure to position the mine to fill the mill with 800 tonnes of underground ore consistently in approximately 18 to 24 months.

I will now hand the call over to Ben to take us through the financial review.

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Ben Au, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - CFO [16]

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Thanks, Marc-Andre. For the year, we generated a total of $2.8 million in free cash flow compared to our cash outflow of $12 million in 2017. Net adjusted income in 2018 was $14.9 million or $0.11 per share as compared to a net adjusted income of $6.8 million or $0.05 a share for 2017.

We have a healthy balance sheet with cash balance of $27 million and no debt. In 2018, the Eagle River operations generated $30 million in free cash to fund the $20 million plus exploration and development program at Kiena.

As Duncan mentioned earlier, Wesdome beats its 2018 cost guidance on both cash and all-sustaining cost. Despite an approximate 7% increase in production plans for 2019 and the lower cash cost profile, we expect to incur similar all-in sustaining cost due to increased underground exploration and development work at the Eagle River.

I'll now turn the call over to Duncan for a review of the reserves.

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [17]

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Great. Thanks, Ben. We had a slight reduction in Eagle River reserves this year from 416,000 to 404,000 ounces because most of the first half of the 2018 exploration effort was really focused on the up, down extensions of the existing reserves on the western flank of the mine. And the development of the drill platforms in order to properly test for the extension of the parallel zones towards the east part of the mine came later in the year.

This was successfully in our resource generation, which Mike will talk about later. We completed one exploration platform late in the year, which has great potential to grow our reserves towards the essential part of the diorite and we are definitely focusing on this throughout the year with one drill.

The focus of exploration for the last couple of years has remained on drilling out the 300 and 7 parallel zones, testing the theory that they possibly could replicate the 8 Zone across the entire mine diorite. To-date, 8 Zone has produced over 1 million ounces of gold, which gives absolutely great potential for the parallel zones.

Drilling and development throughout the year have resulted in almost complete replacement of what was mined in 2018, which was about 70,000 ounces from Eagle, based on the additions at the 7, 300 East and 300 West zones. For instance, the 7 Zone is now defined over 146 meters in strike length, grading 30.5 grams per tonne over an average true thickness of 2.6 meters. So really great expansion here of the resource and the reserve, especially in Southern Zone.

We see great promise in expanding strike lengths and better widths at depth for all zones, the 300 zones, including the high grade 303 lens, which hosts 50% of the underground reserve. We'll continue to focus on the exploration program this year of that and especially the conversion of the resource to reserves.

We're very confident that we'll be able to discover another workplace towards the east part of the mine in the medium term. 800 tonnes per day of 12 grams per tonne certainly translates into about 100,000 ounces of production, which is really one half of the mid-tier story. We need Wawa to produce about 100,000 ounces minimum.

So a review of the mineral resources and reserves during 2018 has resulted in a significant decrease in mineral reserves at the Mishi Pit. Poor ore reconciliation on the lower benches, which in turn has increased the stripping ratio of waste to ore, negatively affecting the pit economics. The company's strategy remains to maximize the throughput of the high grade underground ore and we feel that that's very tangible within the next year or 2.

We will continue to mine Mishi this year for that material we deem to be economic and as an operational benefit in the winter months to keep the mill running. We are not quite in the position yet to generate 100% of all mill feed from Eagle River. However, we do see some pathway to that.

I'll now give the call to Mike to take us through the Eagle River resource and exploration plans.

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Michael Michaud, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - VP of Exploration [18]

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As Duncan mentioned, significant underground development was completed in 2018 that provided platforms, allowing the exploration drilling to step out further along strike and down plunge of known zones of mineralization as well to test for the existence of parallel zones further to the east of the 7 and 300 zones.

Drilling has further extended at the 7 zone to the southeast side of a northeast trending diabase dike that is interpreted to offset the eastern extension approximately 20 meters and has potential to continue to grow. As a result of this step out drilling, the indicated and inferred resource base at Eagle River has increased substantially and will be one of the 2019 objectives to convert these additional inferred resources to indicated resources.

We have another aggressive exploration program planned for 2019 to complete 51,000 meters of underground exploration drilling and 43,000 meters of definition drilling using 4 drills that will be focused primarily to extend the 7 and 300 zones. One underground drill will be dedicated to exploring new parallel zones of mineralization in the eastern half of the mine diorite that remains relatively underexplored. To further these efforts, a 20,000 meter surface drilling program is planned to identify new zones along strike and to the east of the 7 and 300 zones at the upper levels of the mine.

Given the existing infrastructure on the 8 zone, any additional parallel zones could provide additional workplaces for increased mine production. Additionally, a surface mapping and prospecting program is planned for this summer to start exploration along strike in the surrounding volcanic rocks, where a limited exploration has identified several zones of mineralization at surface.

At Kiena, what a great year of explorations, where 35,000 meters of drilling in 2018 has really improved our understanding of the potential of the A Zone, that has now been extended over 500 meters up and down plunge with exciting exploration potential remaining.

An interim resource estimate was completed on December 12, 2018 based on 23,000 meters of drilling with total indicated resources of 574,000 ounces of gold and an additional inferred resources over 1 million ounces. Within this resource, the A Zone totals almost 100,000 ounces of indicated sources, grading 10 grams per tonnes and inferred resourced of 240,000 ounces, grading 11.4 grams per tonne, confirming the high grade nature of this exciting new discovery in an existing permitted mine.

Resources proximal to the existing workings now totals over 200,000 ounces in indicated and almost 300,000 ounces inferred and will play a significant role in any potential restart plan. One of the benefits to completing the interim resource estimate was to complete a review of the grade capping factor, which is now established at 90 grams per tonne for the exploration drilling.

Since the interim resource estimate was completed, ongoing underground exploration drilling has continued to return high grade results from both the up and down plunge extensions of the Kiena Deep A Zone that are not currently in the mineral resource estimate, including Hole 6384A that returned 33.7 grams per tonne over 30.6 meters core length or capped 28.4 grams per tonne over 15 meters true width.

Drilling to date has defined a moderate plunge of approximately 45 degrees to the southeast to the gold mineralization that occurs predominantly along the basalt – chlorite-carbonate schist boundary. Four drills are in operation on the 1050 meter level completing the infill and plunge extension drilling and a fifth drill is now in operation at the 670 meter elevation to test the interpreted up plunge extension of the A Zone towards the VC Zone area. This up plunge extension is interpreted to be in excess of 425 meters and would be in addition to the 500 meters of plunge length already defined by drilling. It is important to recognize that this has the potential to significantly add to the resource base and could be a vital enhancement in any restart scenario.

In 2019, we plan to drill 59,000 meters at Kiena and publish an updated, upgraded resource estimate and preliminary economic analysis.

I will now hand the call back to Duncan for conclusions.

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [19]

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Great. Thanks, Mike. In summary, 2018 was a very strong year, hitting on all cylinders and perhaps most importantly has laid the foundation for Wesdome transitioning to a mid-tier gold producer in the near future.

At Eagle River, we continued to make strides towards our goal of filling the mill 100% with the high grade Eagle River ore. The exploration work this year has identified some very promising resource extensions of the parallel zones and diversified workplace areas, and our drilling this year is focused on converting these resources to reserves.

Eagle River mine delivered $30 million in free cash this year with 71,600 ounces produced and we expect this upward trajectory in production to continue going forward. At Kiena, we had a very successful year in better understanding the geology of this asset and advancing our development in drilling. We are in a much better position this year in terms of drill platforms and are confident we will complete our 59,000 meters of drilling in the year along, again as Mike said, with the upgraded, updated resource statement later in the year.

I just like to turn the call back over to the operator, but I think that -- right now looking back at the year, I think execution of strategy on becoming the mid-tier producer in a great jurisdiction is certainly on track and I think that the progress we're making to-date is as we would expect and have enjoyed. So hopefully 2019 will continue to be along those path. Okay, over to questions.

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Lindsay Carpenter Dunlop, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - VP of IR [20]

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So yes, that concludes the formal portion of this call and we'll now turn the call back over to the operator to open up the lines for the question-and-answer session.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from George Topping with Industrial Alliance.

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George Justice Topping, Industrial Alliance Securities Inc., Research Division - Equity Research Analyst [2]

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See Duncan, on the reserve grade, this 14.7 grams at Eagle Underground, but the head grade guidance says 15.5 grams plus, does not mean you're expecting to add more higher grade tonnage over the next few months over and above the December '18?

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [3]

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Yes. I don't know where the 14 gram -- actually, the new reserve at Eagle is 12 grams, George. So it was 12.2 previously; it's now 12.

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George Justice Topping, Industrial Alliance Securities Inc., Research Division - Equity Research Analyst [4]

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Yes, sorry, I was meaning unproven, which...

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [5]

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Sorry. Yes, yes.

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George Justice Topping, Industrial Alliance Securities Inc., Research Division - Equity Research Analyst [6]

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Is near production.

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [7]

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Yes. Well, we have -- I'll put it this way. We have great potential. The extension of the strike here of the parallel zones seems somewhat evident right now. And I think that what we're seeing especially in the 7 Zone at depth is fantastic. I mean, the widths are higher than average widths at 2.6 meters. The grade being 30 grams per tonne is fantastic. And the strike lengths here -- I mean, typically these zones don't have that kind of a strike length, so we're almost over 150 meters here. So it seems to just be getting better and better. So yes, definitely I think we've got some upside, but hard to quantify right now. We have to keep drilling and we're quite prepared to do that. But I think when we look at sort of the evolution of the reserves here, we really wanted to get some reserves and some workplaces happening away from the bottom of the ramp and that -- and get it back more into the central part of the diorite. And I think we're going to be successful on that strategy and that I think is really going to unlock the production. Really the production right now has been about 450 to 500 tonnes per day from Eagle. One more place, George, over towards the shaft, sort of in the mid part of the diorite is certainly going to be very effective and efficient workplace. So I think that our goal of 800 tonnes per day from Eagle River is going to be quite tangible.

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George Justice Topping, Industrial Alliance Securities Inc., Research Division - Equity Research Analyst [8]

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Right. And just to follow up on that. Can you give more details on the evolution of the throughput, now the production from underground? Is it going to be more back half, increase in tonnage in the back half of this year? Or is it really a step function into 2020? And do you have to have any plant upgrades on the backend to accommodate the higher production?

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Marc-Andre Pelletier, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - COO [9]

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Right. Basically what we plan for this year is an increase of production level from Eagle in the second half of the year as we access to the 711 and 300 zone at depth.

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [10]

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So yes, we do have more tonnes going through the mill in the second half of the year and we're really concentrated on right now on reserve development, George. We've had a pretty significant change out of our development contractor and we're really enjoying what we see here now. So really it's a function of our -- stope sequencing of our developed reserves. So yes, for sure we are back half loaded, there's no doubt. I think we've put out 31,000 to 35,000 ounces in H1 and 41,000 to 45,000 ounces in H2. Again, kind of a function of this high grade pipe that we have, this 303 lens, which it's just difficult to kind of smooth it out. When you're in it, you're in it. And certainly it is a great high grade area.

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George Justice Topping, Industrial Alliance Securities Inc., Research Division - Equity Research Analyst [11]

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And the plant, do you have to have any modifications to the backend for that 100,000 ounces?

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [12]

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No, no, we don't. Actually -- George, right now -- the strategy for the 100,000 ounces coming from Eagle, I mean, that's really 800 tonnes per day, at 12 grams per day and 97% recovery. And I think that works to about 105,000 tonnes. So if Mike is able to get the grade up, it's going to be better. And I think that's a pretty conservative actual mill availability. So we are tweaking the mill. I think it's really based on more really solidifying it and making sure that it's capable of performing with good availability.

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Operator [13]

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Our next question comes from Phil Ker from PI Financial.

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Philip Ker, PI Financial Corp., Research Division - Precious Metals Analyst [14]

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Just a question on Kiena. Could you just give an estimated CapEx for 2019? I know you've got the 59,000 meters planned, but with other underground developments for drill stations and what not, what are we looking at for CapEx there this year?

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [15]

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Yes. So we're looking at $27 million total. I mean, the -- for Kiena, we've got a few projects in there. The drilling, though, the 59,000 meters of drilling is certainly a big part of that. But we're also doing the upgrades. Marc-Andre has been able to entirely rehab the shaft with new guides and the manway has been all upgraded. So we continue to work on things that already are restart when that may happen. So that's really what it is. So the 59,000 meters of drilling is a big part of it. Of course the 50,000 meters, Phil, really on the A Zone entirely. The other 9,000 meters is really for the -- I'd say the exploration of what we call the parallel universe, is where we think that we have other connecting structures to the northeast of the existing structure. And I don't know, Mike, if you want to add anything on that just to...

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Michael Michaud, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - VP of Exploration [16]

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Yes, certainly. As we do the drilling on the A Zone, because it's a new style of mineralization, we've been looking over some of the old data. We're updating the 3D geologic model not just for the Kiena area, but elsewhere on the property as well. And we have some interesting targets that we've been able to extract from the geologic data and from the recent night survey that we did. So we want to test a couple of these at least just in the preliminary way. Obviously, our focus is still on drilling off Kiena Deep A Zone, but we believe we have capacity to complete a small 9,000 meter surface drilling program, again to help our understanding and test some of these new targets that we have.

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Philip Ker, PI Financial Corp., Research Division - Precious Metals Analyst [17]

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Okay. So of the $27 million, how much is drilling related then?

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Ben Au, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - CFO [18]

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$6 million.

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Philip Ker, PI Financial Corp., Research Division - Precious Metals Analyst [19]

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And then the scheduling on the other upgrades, shaft rehab and so forth, is this kind of frontend loaded this year or starting over the summer period or...

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Ben Au, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - CFO [20]

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No. About the shaft, I mean, we actually started in 2017 and we're basically -- we're almost done with the shaft repair. So we'll be in very good position with the shaft infrastructure to restart the production.

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Philip Ker, PI Financial Corp., Research Division - Precious Metals Analyst [21]

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Okay. So I'm still fuzzy on when and where the remaining $21 million is going to, because if the shaft rehab is complete then what other projects are there?

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Ben Au, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - CFO [22]

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Yes, the other projects -- of course when we talk about the $6 million for the exploration, we have money engaged to support that program and -- so we called it the mine services. So I would say it's about $6 million, $7 million, just to support the exploration. We are planning to do some backfill underground. We have some open stokes, some voids, so we -- I believe the budget is about $5 million for that. And we do have some rehabilitation going through the mine as the main ramp of the mine is basically our main escape way. So we are putting quite a bit of money. I think it's about $1 million or $2 million this year to do the basic rehabilitation of the ramp to make sure our escape way remains in good shape.

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Philip Ker, PI Financial Corp., Research Division - Precious Metals Analyst [23]

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Okay, perfect. And outside of sustaining items at Eagle River, is there any other capital projects going on there?

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Ben Au, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - CFO [24]

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We have money for the mill, to repair the mill, to maintain the mill. We have some money to purchase and refurbish equipment, which kind of -- nothing outstanding for the equipment. We have electrical upgrades as we've been working through a couple years ago and we will continue. Every single improvement we're making on the electrical side at Eagle is a plus, so we're in the good -- in the right direction there. We have some money going to our tailings, TMA expansion, as we grow our reserve, we have to make sure we have enough capacity. What else? I think I talked about the main ones, Phil.

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Philip Ker, PI Financial Corp., Research Division - Precious Metals Analyst [25]

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So the total budget for those items is approximately what?

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Ben Au, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - CFO [26]

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I think it's $20 million, $23 million. A big chunk of it of course, Phil, is development. It's about half of our capital expenses for the ramps basically as we move down.

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Philip Ker, PI Financial Corp., Research Division - Precious Metals Analyst [27]

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Okay. And then, Duncan, maybe could you just touch on the development being completed up into the 303 Zone and sort of your thoughts on how things have been progressing this year and when you think things will be to kind of your expectations to crank up the tonnage coming out of there?

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [28]

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But really -- yes, the 303 development is going great. We've got a -- it's basically sub-level mining. So we're accessing basically development off the Alimak and getting the sub-levels up there. Let's face it, it's just -- in terms of volume, it's pretty small; but in terms of ounces, it's pretty large for us. So it's that sort of development that we're doing. We did change out the contractor that's here. We used to have 2, we only have 1 now, and it's going much better. So really -- one of the functions we see and that we already signaled, but they really are all-in sustaining costs and probably going to be relatively flat compared to this year, just under USD 1,000. But it's the flexibility which that's going to give us in terms of developed reserves, I think -- so moving ahead -- I think it's a 2 part question: how and when are we going to get to the magical 800 tonnes per day? I'm looking at Mike. And just the progress that we've been making with the expansion of these parallels and with the along strike, we're pretty buoyant about that reality happening. Right now -- and we sort of said a year to 2 years kind of thing, but as it becomes available, yes, we'll definitely be scheduling in new workplaces. The nice thing about this, Phil, is, some of these extensions could only be less than 100 meters away from existing infrastructure, right? And it's not ramping or anything else. It's like lateral development because everything has been developed on the southernmost, the 8 structure. So quite tangible for us. And when we look at it -- I mean, 300 tonnes a day additional is really nothing especially from a place like that. So right now, as it is, the bottom of the ramp, we've got all 3 zones in production there. It's 500 tonnes per day of ore generally and notched out with a 500 tonnes per day of waste, and that's 1,000 tonnes a day. Quite frankly, that's getting close to capacity. But that's what the mine can sustain right now. And I think that really the development of these hopeful reserves sort of in the central part of diorite would just be so beneficial to us in terms of getting our 800 tonnes per day.

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Operator [29]

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Our next question comes from Craig Stanley with Eight Capital.

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Craig Philip Stanley, Eight Capital, Research Division - Principal & Precious Metals Analyst [30]

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Just a quick question. So if you guys can -- if the drilling goes up plunge potential, the Deep A Zone towards the VC Zone, do you guys have a rough estimate of what the difference in CapEx would be like for starting up everything there at Kiena?

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [31]

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Yes. So really that takes the pressure off having to get the ramp down at 1450, right, Craig? I think that really if the up plunge is there -- what we've always looked at it as, okay, if the up plunge is here, all of a sudden the timeline to development and the CapEx is reduced. So obviously coming up within the mine infrastructure, you're going to have ventilation already established, you're going to have -- access very easy to establish. Probably have four phases into it immediately, right? So compared to the one sort of single heading down ramp -- and, I mean, it's not that you have to go all the way down to 1450 in order to reestablish production from the ore which is emerging from below 1050, but certainly the up plunge is beneficial. I think we've calculate -- like really the way I would view it is, the up plunge development and mining of the up plunge would definitely fund the down plunge development. So I would think that -- as it was previously with the ore below 1050, really the majority of our -- we sort of set out about $50 million. And really what it is, it's all development really. I mean, the mill doesn't cost much to reestablish. It's probably $1.5 million or $2 million. Other infrastructure -- I mean, that's the nice thing about having a great brownfield asset like Kiena, because everything is there. So it's really just the ramp development and the escape way and things like that. So I would estimate for the up plunge only -- I think that we can probably get a good chunk of the development done for probably $35 million I think we've said. The single heading ramp, if that was the only ore that was up to Kiena, we've always said it's about $50 million to get the ramp down at 1450. So yes, I think that's what we would see, a sort of a reduction of sort of $10 million, $12 million, $15 million just for that difference.

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Craig Philip Stanley, Eight Capital, Research Division - Principal & Precious Metals Analyst [32]

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Okay. And then just secondly, with the updated Kiena reserves that you guys work on, you think top cut might change?

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [33]

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Yes, I missed that. Sorry, I missed that, Craig.

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Ben Au, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - CFO [34]

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He said the grade cut will change...

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Craig Philip Stanley, Eight Capital, Research Division - Principal & Precious Metals Analyst [35]

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Yes, would you think the top cut might go up with the updated Kiena resource?

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [36]

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I think we want to review it again. As we collect more data, we're definitely going to look on that area again, especially for the A Zone, because one of the lenses in A Zone was capped at 45 previously for the last resource estimate. We think that might be a little conservative. So as we collect more data, we're going to reevaluate that in the new resource estimate.

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Operator [37]

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Our next question comes from Ryan Walker with Echelon Wealth Partners.

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Ryan Walker, Echelon Wealth Partners Inc., Research Division - Analyst [38]

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Just back to Eagle River. The parallel zones, obviously take on greater importance. I wonder what extent of historical drilling is there out along those trends in general along the mine diorite to the east.

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [39]

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There's really a fairly limited amount of information historically, because all these zones are to the north of 8 Zone and all the drilling previously was done from the south. So we went -- in 2016, we drilled a campaign of 200 meter spaced holes from surface and we did intersect a number of high grade values. And more importantly, from that we were able to complete our 3D models. So we are able to map out the structures. And we're using that sort of geologic model, plus some of the previous hits we've had out there to sort of focus in the drilling this year. And that's why we have one drill underground dedicated to follow in up on some of those previous hits and the surface drilling. So it's all about just going out there and just doing the first pass drilling over this. We do have information that gives an indication that those structures do continue to the east. And now it's really just following up on some of the high grade hits and start to find resources that exist there. So I think we're pretty confident in our model and we're pretty confident that we're going to drill out these additional resources.

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Operator [40]

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Our next question comes from John Tumazos from John Tumazos Very Independent Research.

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John Charles Tumazos, John Tumazos Very Independent Research, LLC - President and CEO [41]

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Are you far enough along in the Kiena planning to have the stopes laid out and how many stopes do you think might be in production in 2020 or 2021, 2022, et cetera? And with the rise in your cash balance, the good gold price, the higher output, do you think you might use your cash balances, cash flow and a tiny bit of borrowings rather than issue stock for the development monies?

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [42]

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Okay, so 2 questions, John. Okay, so does Marc-Andre have any stopes laid out at Keina? I would say no.

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Marc-Andre Pelletier, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - COO [43]

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No, I think honesty it's -- it will be very preliminary to answer that question. But I think that the PEA that we plan to do later on this year will help us to understand better what kind of production of stopes and development we have to do to be able to maintain our production level for a long time. So I would say at the start it could be a lot of development ore and going to eventually more production stope. But it's -- I think we'll be able to have a better answer later on this year on that.

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Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [44]

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Getting back to your funding question, John. I mean, really for us to really hammer down the CapEx requirements for Kiena in that -- obviously, the drilling of the resources and trying to understand the resources exactly, I think that's the most important thing. So we can't get the cart ahead of the horse here. In terms of our ability to cash flow, yes, definitely we're -- we budgeted at CAD 1,550 conservatively. We're at CAD 1,750 right now. So a $200 per ounce kind of makes a $15 million, $16 million difference on the revenue side for us. So it's pretty significant. So we'll cross that road. But that's a preliminary question right now. I think what we really need to do is let's understand what the resources look like, let's do the proper job of mine planning, and then I think that we'll be much more comfortable to answer that question.

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Operator [45]

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I'm not showing any further questions at this time. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for participating in today's conference. This does conclude today's program and you may all disconnect. Everyone, have a wonderful day.