Anaconda sold 5,251 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2019, earning $ 8.8 million in gold at an average realized gold price1 of $ 1,671 per ounce sold. The 16% increase in gold sales compared to the first quarter of 2018 is due to the fact that the Gold Doré inventory has been in ounces since its January sale. Gold production was down 3% from the first quarter of 2018 at 4,176 ounces, mainly due to the mill's lower availability due to the planned maintenance of the main ball mill and unplanned maintenance of the mill mill due to late shipment of the spigot liners and subsequent decision Accelerate other maintenance programs (see details below). The Pine Cove Mill was put back into operation in the first week of April. While lower availability and the resulting throughput rate had a time-related impact on quarterly production, the company was able to minimize gold mining losses and significantly improve asset reliability and efficiency in the future. In addition, mining continued during this period, and at the end of the quarter, the company built a robust stock of more than 30,600 tonnes.
The Company remains on track to promote and sell between 19,000 and 20,000 ounces of gold through further mining in Stoght's Tight and pushbacks into the Pine Cove pit as well as the start of mining in Argyle in the second half of the year. While Argyle's final mining permits are pending, the Company continues to conduct a mineral resource update and mine planning that will include the additional drilling completed since the last mineral resource estimate and ongoing infill drilling. Mill throughput is maintained throughout the year, with small ore reserves available to supplement the mill's feed, although the company continues to explore ways to delay processing of small ore.
1 See the section below on non-IFRS measures.
Point Rousse Mill Operation – The Pine Cove Mill processed 79,758 tonnes in the first quarter of 2019, 27% less than in the first quarter of 2018, due to the reduced availability of the mill resulting from the scheduled maintenance of the main ball mill and mill The routine replacement of mill liners results in jacks and journals, as well as late shipment of spigot liners and unplanned maintenance at the head of the grist mill. The regrind failure also impacted the quarterly throughput rate, in addition to the adverse weather conditions at the beginning of the quarter that impacted the crushing rate.
When the reclaimer mill was disconnected from the network, a reserve stirring media indicator system ("SMD" system) was initiated to maintain a specified throughput level. However, it was found that the system was unable to maintain the optimal mill size and size leaching capabilities resulting in recovery losses. To minimize the loss of gold production, the mill temporarily stopped operation to complete the millhead rebuild and opportunistically complete many important maintenance programs, including the replacement of spigot liners and a complete change of lifter and liner, to ball mill, Repair of the electric motor at the primary ball mill, repair of the sieve box in the shredding circuit and replacement of valves and pipelines in the flotation circuit.
The average salary for the first quarter of 2019 was 1.92 g / t, an increase of 33% compared to the first quarter of 2018 and in line with the fourth quarter of 2018, when Stog & Tight became the main feed for Pine Cove Mill. The mill achieved an average recovery of 84.8%, leading to gold production of 4,176 ounces in the first quarter of 2019. The average recovery rate decreased both in comparison to the first quarter of 2018 and the fourth quarter of 2018, as the recovery rates were affected by the absence of the regrind mill in March and the backup SMD system was unable to maintain the optimal mill size. In February, when the ore was mainly sourced from Stog & Tight and the regrind mill was in operation, the mill achieved an average yield of 88.5%.
Mine operation at Point Rousse – In the first quarter of 2019, 77,667 tonnes of ore were mined at the Stog's Mine. Mine operations also included 45,120 tonnes of pushback waste at the Pine Cove pit, which is undergoing development to prepare for mining in the second quarter. Quarterly ore tonnage was higher than expected and production results showed a positive deviation from the block model underlying the mine plan. As of March 31, 2019, the facility had stored over 30,600 tonnes of ore at an estimated average grade of 1.73 g / t.