Claude Resources Inc. (TSX:CRJ) announced that during 2015, its Seabee gold operation achieved record annual gold production of 75,748 ounces, exceeding guidance.
As quoted in the press release:
The record performance in 2015 was a result of a 20% improvement in grade (8.82 grams of gold per tonne) along with strong mill recoveries of 96.3% on 277,368 tonnes milled. In addition, 2015 gold sales improved 16% to 72,699 ounces (2014 – 62,772 ounces).
During the fourth quarter, the Company milled 65,950 tonnes at a grade of 8.99 grams of gold per tonne for total gold production of 18,340 ounces. The strong fourth quarter performance was a 49% increase from the comparable period in 2014. The significant improvement was a result of 37% higher grade ore and a 9% increase in tonnes milled. During the fourth quarter, gold sales were 18,311 ounces, up 10% over the same period in 2014.
At year-end, the Company had increased its cash and bullion (1) position by approximately $28.6 million to $39.8 million. The increase in cash and bullion year over year was a result of strong operating performance and improved Canadian dollar gold prices realized. In addition, cash and bullion was positively impacted during the quarter when the Company recovered its $2.8 million reclamation deposit by purchasing a surety bond to satisfy its decommissioning obligations.
Brian Skanderbeg, president and CEO of Claude Resources, commented:
With record gold production, improved unit costs and successful advancement of the high grade Santoy Gap deposit ahead of schedule, we generated strong free cash flow and ended the year with a very strong cash and bullion position of $39.8 million, a $28.6 million increase from year-end 2014. With our strengthened financial position, we will invest more in exploration at the Seabee Gold Operation and continue to evaluate and advance internal and external growth opportunities. The 2016 drilling program consists of more than 65,000 metres from underground and 18,000 metres from surface and is expected to create long-term shareholder value by upgrading and expanding the Company’s Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserves.
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