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Harte Gold Provides Third Quarter Update and Guidance for 2019

TORONTO, Nov. 01, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HARTE GOLD CORP. (“Harte Gold” or the “Company”) (TSX: HRT / OTC: HRTFF / Frankfurt: H4O) provided the following operating results for the third quarter (“Q3 2019”) ended September 30, 2019.

Highlights

  • Mined tonnage increased 9% quarter over quarter.  The mill is now being fed 100% run of mine (“ROM”) ore

  • Stope production and sequencing was lower than expected due to continued start-up delays of the paste fill plant and lower than planned development rates

  • Underground infrastructure and contractor performance issues driving the quarter are being addressed

  • A temporary solution for the paste fill plant has been implemented and will continue in the short term

  • Gold production was 6,069 ounces for the quarter.  For the last nine months, Harte Gold produced 19,138 ounces

  • Quarterly results when compared to the Feasibility Study were below target.  Based on results to-date, full year 2019 guidance has been adjusted to 24,000 to 26,000 ounces at an AISC of US$2,000 to US$2,200 per ounce.  Previous guidance was 39,200 ounces at an AISC of US$1,300 to US$1,350 per ounce.

  • A life of mine plan for 2020 is being prepared and further guidance and will be provided when available

Operating Metrics, Q3 2019

      Q3 Comparison to Q2 Q3 Comparison to
Feasibility Plan
 
  Q3
September
30, 2019
  Q2
June 30,
2019
Q3 vs. Q2   Feasibility
Plan
Q3 vs.
Feasibility
Plan
 
Ore mined (tonnes) 46,235   42,601 9 %   58,100 (20%)  
Ore processed (tonnes) 56,558   53,216 6 %   58,100 (3%)  
Average daily throughput (tpd) 628   591 6 %   646 (3%)  
Processed grade (g/t) 3.64   4.89 (25%)   5.96 (39%)  
Recovery (%) 92%   93% (0%)   96% (3%)  
Gold ounces produced 6,069   7,754 (22%)   10,600 (43%)  

Mine Production Ramp Up Overview

  • The Company is mining from areas developed at the Sugar Zone North and South ramps

  • Mill feed grade decreased due to a shortage of development of higher-grade stoping areas, which resulted in a larger contribution of lower grade development ore as the primary mill feed

  • Development delays and paste plant start-up issues also affected overall stope sequencing, which resulted in the Company mining off plan

  • To address challenges in Q3, the following steps have been taken:

    • Mine performance was addressed with the mining contractor and necessary actions are being taken to ensure adequate staffing and broader recruitment efforts

    • The paste plant is expected to be operational by year-end.  Critical components are being installed.  The Company will provide further updates on start-up of the paste plant as they become available

    • Mine infrastructure to support rock fill has been developed and will mitigate delays in operation of the paste fill plant

    • Improvements are underway to expand compressed air capacity, expected to increase the rate at which stopes can be developed

Adjusted 2019 Production and Guidance

Gold production in the first nine months of 2019 was 19,138 ounces.  Due to issues around mine development and stope availability in Q3, the Company expects fourth quarter production to be in the range of 5,000 to 7,000 ounces.  Accordingly, full year 2019 production guidance has been adjusted from 39,200 ounces per original guidance, to 24,000 to 26,000 ounces.

While operating costs were stabilized in Q3, as a result of lower production for the year and higher costs in the first half, annual AISC guidance has been modified and is expected to be in the range of US$2,000 to US$2,200 per ounce, from original guidance of US$1,300 to US$1,350 per ounce.  Further information on operating costs will be provided when the Company files its Q3 financials.

2020 Life of Mine Plan and Financial Budget

The Company is currently updating its life of mine plan and preparing a 2020 budget.  The Company will provide further guidance for 2020 at that time.

For further information, please contact:
Stephen G. Roman                                                                                          
Chairman and Interim CEO                                                                           
Tel: 416-368-0999                                                                                             
Email: sgr@hartegold.com                                                                           

Shawn Howarth
Vice President, Corporate Development
Tel: 416-368-0999
E-mail: sh@hartegold.com

This news release includes "forward-looking statements", within the meaning of applicable securities legislation, which are based on the opinions and estimates of management and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek", "anticipate", "budget", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "forecast", "may", "will", "project", "predict", "potential", "targeting", "intend", "could", "might", "should", "believe" and similar words suggesting future outcomes or statements regarding an outlook.  Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, there being no events of default or breaches of key financing agreements, including agreements with BNP Paribas and Appian; the Company being able to attract and retain qualified candidates to join the Company’s management team and Board, risks associated with the mining industry, including operational risks in exploration, development and production; delays or changes in plans with respect to exploration or development projects or capital expenditures; the uncertainty of reserve estimates; the uncertainty of estimates and projections in relation to production, costs and expenses; the uncertainty surrounding the ability of the Company to obtain all permits, consents or authorizations required for its operations and activities; and health, safety and environmental risks, the risk of commodity price and foreign exchange rate fluctuations, the ability of Harte Gold to fund the capital and operating expenses necessary to achieve the business objectives of Harte Gold, the uncertainty associated with commercial negotiations and negotiating with foreign governments and risks associated with international business activities, as well as those risks described in public disclosure documents filed by the Company.  Due to the risks, uncertainties and assumptions inherent in forward-looking statements, prospective investors in securities of the Company should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of risks, uncertainties and other factors are not exhaustive.  The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof and the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or in any other documents filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except in accordance with applicable securities laws. The forward-looking statements are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.
The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.