Richmont 2010 Gold Sales Increase 14% Company Provides 2011 Production Forecasts and Updated Reserve and Resource Calculationsadmin
Richmont Mines Inc. is pleased to release 2010 gold sales figures, to provide guidance for gold production levels in 2011, and to update its reserve and resource calculations as of December 31, 2010.
– 2010 gold sales of 68,123 ounces, up 14% year-over-year and 5% above
forecasted 65,000 ounces;
– Q4/2010 gold sales of 18,591 ounces, a 43% increase over Q4/2009 gold
sales of 13,029 ounces;
– 2011 gold production forecast of 80,000 – 85,000 ounces;
– Total Proven and Probable reserves of 366,944 gold ounces at December
31, 2010 versus 445,471 gold ounces at December 31, 2009;
– Updated Wasamac property resource calculation including pending results from the 20,000 metre drilling campaign in 2010 expected to be available
by mid-February 2011.
2010 gold sales overview
On a consolidated basis, Richmont Mines sold 68,123 ounces of gold in 2010, a notable 14% increase over 2009 sales levels of 59,733 ounces of gold, and 5% above the Company’s targeted level of 65,000 ounces of gold for the year. On a segmented basis, the Island Gold Mine contributed 45,865 ounces of gold in 2010, 18% above 2009 levels, while the Beaufor Mine sold 22,258 ounces of gold in 2010, up 7% over the prior year’s levels.
Forecasted 2011 production
The Company is expecting annual gold production of 80,000 – 85,000 ounces in 2011, reflecting forecasted production of 45,000 – 50,000 ounces from the Island Gold Mine, 20,000 – 25,000 ounces from the Beaufor Mine, and 15,000 ounces from the Francoeur Mine, of which 5,000 ounces will be produced prior to the start of commercial production, expected in mid-2011. For 2012, with a full year of production from the Francoeur Mine, the Company expects annual production to exceed 100,000 ounces of gold.
Updated Reserve and Resource Estimates
Island Gold Mine
As of December 31, 2010, total Proven and Probable Reserves at the Island Gold Mine were 161,197 gold ounces. Proven and Probable reserves declined from 264,085 gold ounces at the end of December 2009 primarily as a result of three contributing factors:
1. 12 months of production at the mine;
2. Results from definition drilling in 2010 that lowered Probable reserve
estimates in the Lochalsh Zone;
3. Reconciliation between actual production and reserve estimates, due to lower than anticipated amounts of gold being recovered from several blocks as a result of more variable gold distribution in the alteration
Estimated Measured and Indicated resources at the Island Gold Mine increased to 188,511 gold ounces at December 31, 2010, versus 154,813 Au ounces last year, as drilling efforts throughout the year enabled the Company to successfully convert Inferred resources to Measured and Indicated resources. Estimated Inferred resources at December 31, 2010 decreased to 138,732 gold ounces, versus 199,569 gold ounces at the end of December 2009.
A total of 38,000 metres of drilling are planned for the Island Gold Mine property in 2011, of which 30,000 metres will be underground exploration and definition drilling and the outstanding 8,000 metres will be surface exploration drilling. A primary focus in 2011 will be to better define the gold resources potential at depth.
Proven and Probable reserves at the Beaufor Mine increased to 68,998 gold ounces at December 31, 2010, from 44,637 gold ounces at December 31, 2009. This reflects the addition of 24,798 ounces of reserves identified through the drilling program on the near-surface W and 367 zones, in conjunction with reserves established within the mine’s existing underground infrastructure as a result of definition drilling in 2010, offset by 22,258 ounces of gold sales from the mine in 2010.
Drilling efforts in 2010 similarly resulted in a minor increase in Measured and Indicated resources to 173,453 ounces at the end of 2010 versus 171,372 ounces at the end of 2009. Inferred resources declined slightly to 182,185 ounces as of December 31, 2010 from 199,256 ounces at the end of the prior year. Existing resources are mostly below the existing infrastructure of the mine, and currently do not economically justify an extension of current operations.
The Company is planning 11,000 metres of definition drilling and 17,000 metres of exploration drilling at the Beaufor Mine in 2011, in an effort to continue to grow its reserve and resource base. The primary focus will be to expand and advance the potential of the near-surface W and 367 zones, located to the west of the mine’s existing infrastructure.
As of December 31, 2010, the Francoeur Mine had total estimated Probable reserves of 136,749 gold ounces, unchanged from year-end 2009 and similarly unchanged from results detailed in the 43-101 compliant technical report, filed on SEDAR on August 5, 2009. Indicated Resources of 18,541 gold ounces and Inferred Resources of 38,706 gold ounces for the Francoeur Mine also remained unchanged from previously published levels. The mine is scheduled to begin production in mid-2011, with an annual estimated production rate of 35,000 Au ounces for an initial mine life of four years.
The Wasamac property had Inferred resources of 285,200 gold ounces as of December 31, 2009. An updated Resource estimate as of December 31, 2010, incorporating pending results from the 20,000 metres of drilling that was completed on this property in 2010, will be released by mid-February 2011.