TORONTO, April 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dundee Precious Metals Inc. (TSX:DPM) (“DPM” or
“the Company”) announced its mine and smelter production results for the three months ended March 31, 2018 and confirmed the timing of the release of first quarter 2018 operating and financial results, together with the related conference call and webcast.
“We had another strong quarter at Chelopech and continue to make good progress on smelter optimization initiatives,” said Rick Howes, President and CEO. “We remain on budget with construction at our Krumovgrad gold project with production of first concentrate on track for the fourth quarter of 2018.”
Ore milled and metals production at Chelopech and concentrate smelted at Tsumeb in the first quarter 2018 are tracking in line with the Company’s 2018 guidance.
First quarter 2018 mine and metals production at the Chelopech mine and complex concentrate smelted at the Tsumeb smelter are provided below.
Chelopech Tsumeb Year 2018 Consolidated Guidance 1
Q1 2018 Q1 2018
Ore milled (‘000s tonnes) 558.1 - 2,100 – 2,200
Metals contained in concentrate produced
Gold (‘000s ounces) 57.3 - 165 – 195
Copper (million pounds) 9.3 - 33.7 – 40.4
Payable metals in concentrate sold
Gold (‘000s ounces) 35.2 - 140 – 170
Copper (million pounds) 6.1 - 31.0 – 37.0
Complex Concentrate smelted (‘000s tonnes) - 54.1 220 – 250
First quarter Chelopech gold and copper production exceeded our planned production due to higher ore grades and is expected to return to planned levels for the remainder of the year in line with guidance. Payable gold sold was in line with expected concentrate shipment schedules and is expected to increase in the coming quarters due to the timing of shipments.
Continued improved refractory performance in the Ausmelt furnace at Tsumeb has enabled the start of the annual maintenance shutdown to be deferred from March to May 2018. Oxygen plant performance was much improved in the first quarter relative to previous quarters and further upside remains as a result of continued optimization.
Replacement of the furnace roof and some off-gas repairs completed in the quarter, together with adverse summer weather conditions, affected operating rates and downtime, and served to offset the improved operating performance. While concentrate smelted was below planned levels for the quarter, the smelter is expected to return to targeted levels in line with 2018 guidance.
At Krumovgrad, earthworks relating to the construction of the Integrated Mine Waste Facility was completed, and installation of major foundations, equipment and structural steel continued through the quarter, as planned. The forecast capital cost remains at $162 to $168 million, compared with the original estimate of $178 million, with first concentrate production on track for the fourth quarter of 2018.
The Company’s first quarter 2018 operating and financial results are expected to be released after market close on Wednesday, May 2, 2018