The pour at the company’s Yukon-based Eagle mine was broadcast live on the second day of the Denver Gold Forum.
Canada’s newest gold mine has officially entered production.
Yukon Premier Sandy Silver did the honors, creating a bar that weighed in at 1,001 ounces.
“After all the blood, sweat and tears required to explore, develop, permit, finance and build a gold mine in Canada’s north, it is extremely gratifying to pour the first gold bar at Eagle,” said Victoria Gold President and CEO John McConnell in a press release.
Eagle sits on Victoria Gold’s Dublin Gulch property, which the company acquired in 2009.
Presenting in Denver prior to the gold pour, McConnell highlighted the asset’s accessibility, saying it’s within 40 kilometers of a paved highway with an all-weather gravel road to the site.
“I can leave Vancouver at 7:00 a.m., connect to Whitehorse to Mayo and drive to site and be there for lunch. I don’t think there’s many operations in the world that can claim that.”
Construction and commissioning at Eagle are both complete, said McConnell, adding that the ramp up process is an estimated 60 to 70 percent complete.
Commercial production is slated for Q2 2020, and the mine is expected to produce 200,000 ounces of gold annually at an operating cost of US$539 per ounce.
“Our current pit is designed at US$1,250 (per ounce) gold, and at US$1,400 gold we can probably add another six years of mine life, so there’s an opportunity that is being realized as we speak,” said McConnell, noting that the Eagle orebody extends at depth.
On the sidelines of the Denver Gold Forum, Yukon Deputy Premier Ranj Pillai spoke positively about Victoria Gold’s work getting Eagle up and running.
“Just a phenomenal example of great partnerships all around,” he said. “John McConnell and his team have done a really fantastic job, first of all working with the local First Nation government there, Na-Cho Nyäk Dun — it’s been a relationship that they’ve built over a number of years,” he said.
“For us as the regulator, they’ve been again such a professional organization to deal with. And just even on the buildout they’ve done an unbelievable job of ensuring that we have local opportunities for the contractors as well as for local employment. It’s been a big driver.”
McConnell also discussed the exploration potential at the large Dublin Gulch land package.
“We’ve done airborne geophysics across the entire property. Where we identified anomalies, we did ground geophysics and ground geochem. We now have roughly 11 high-priority targets,” he said.
Recently the company has been directing attention toward Nugget, where it did some drilling at the end of 2018. Drilling has continued into 2019 at Nugget’s Raven target; some promising results have been released already, and McConnell said there will be more to come, with a larger program likely next year.
“This could really change things for Victoria,” he said.
McConnell is also optimistic that Victoria Gold will undergo a rerating as it proves it can operate according to plan, and he believes that the gold price could continue to rise.
“Personally I think we’re in a perfect storm for the gold price. I made the prediction six months ago that we were going to see US$1,500 gold by the end of 2019, and even I’m surprised at how quickly it’s risen.”
Want more content from the Denver Gold Forum and Precious Metals Summit? You can find our audio interviews from both events on YouTube — check back as we add to the list.
You can also click here to read about the Investing News Network’s 2018 Eagle site visit.
Image via Victoria Gold.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.