by Ewan Downie
Our Annual General Meeting, planned for Thursday (June 22nd) of this week is a very important and gratifying milestone for Premier Gold. This will be the first meeting where we detail several of the production-related successes we have had since last year’s AGM.
You can be certain that this growth is not for the sake of growth itself. Production costs at our mines, as measured by Cash Cost and All-in-Sustaining-Cost (AISC) metrics, are among the best in the industry. Based on production through the first quarter of 2017, our margins (revenue minus cost of production) on AISC are in excess of US$700 per ounce. As a result, our cash position to March 31, 2017 has increased to C$147 million. Actively advancing our pipeline of exploration and development projects will sustain the growth trajectory we have firmly established since becoming a producer.
We are particularly excited about two aspects of our production performance to date. At South Arturo, our attributable production is tracking at a positive reconciliation versus the block model estimate in the deposit. Both grade and ounces have been greater than anticipated. At Mercedes, our team has been focussed on various cost savings initiatives, while at the same time increasing the number of active faces available for production at the mine. Increased active faces help de-risk production by increasing flexibility. No doubt, we have also benefitted by the weaker Mexican Peso between November and March, but there is no certainty this will continue. Our initiatives will support the long-term viability of the mine.
Much of Premier’s DNA still resides in exploration, and we are proud have conducted robust programs across our pipeline of projects while also generating meaningful free cash flow. The last twelve months have included a Feasibility Study at Greenstone Gold and mineral resource estimates at both McCoy-Cove and Hasaga.
I would encourage you to participate in our AGM webcast in order to get a full update of our current activity and overall strategy. We are sometimes criticized for having a lot of moving parts within the company, but as we were told in recent marketing in the USA, “Keep doing what you are doing!”
We work hard on behalf of shareholders because we are shareholders.