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Q3 record production brought Timmins Gold TSX:TMM 25,153 gold ounces, a 48.7% increase over last quarter’s 16,917 ounces, from its San Francisco open pit in Sonora State, Mexico. Q3 silver numbers came to 13,857 ounces, down from 14,453 ounces in Q2. The company attributes its gold success to improvements to the project’s crushing circuit, blasting patterns and heap-leach process.
“Completion of Stage 2 of our crusher expansion is expected to take us to over 22,000 tonnes per day in Q4 and crushing capacity is scheduled to reach over 30,000 tonnes per day early in 2013 as we continue with our expansion program,” said Timmins CEO Bruce Bragagnolo in an October 9 statement. He added that the project is funded by existing cash flow.
The company targets 100,000 gold ounces for 2012 and an annual average of 130,000 gold ounces starting in 2013.
Record ounces or not, Timmins shares closed October 9 at $2.76, five cents below their opening price. The company’s 52-week high and low are $3.23 and $1.49, while its press time market cap sits at $394.64 million.
As for Caledonia Mining TSX:CAL, President/CEO Stefan Hayden says Q3 production at its Zimbabwe operation “is the highest quarterly gold production ever achieved by the Blanket Mine since its first recorded year of production in 1906.” The mine turned out 12,919 Q3 ounces, up from 11,560 in Q2. Year-to-date, Blanket produced 33,643 ounces, a 33% increase over the 25,331 ounces produced in the first nine months of 2011.
Zimbabwean law stipulates that indigenous citizens must hold a 51% interest in all commercial enterprises. To that end Caledonia has signed conditional agreements to divide a 51% stake in the Blanket Mine among four groups for US$30.09 million.
Caledonia shares held steady at $0.09 on October 9. The $45.71-million-market-cap company has a 52-week high and low of $0.135 and $0.06.
Nevsun Resources TSX:NSU announced a Q3 total of 98,000 gold ounces, up from 87,000 the previous quarter, from its Bisha Mine in Eritrea. The company attributed better-than-expected results to higher grades in the transitional oxide zone. But next quarter projections foresee lower output due to lower grades. Even so, Nevsun expects to meet or beat its 2012 guidance of 280,000 to 300,000 ounces. The open pit relinquished 379,000 ounces in 2011, its first year of commercial production.
The high gold numbers won’t last long, however. Gold production is planned through Q1 2013, but then the mine will convert to copper production with gold and silver credits. In case additional gold turns up, the site’s carbon-in-leach processing plant will be kept on care and maintenance. The state of Eritrea holds a 40% interest in the project.
Nevsun shares slumped October 9 from a $4.70 open to a $4.52 close. The company has a $899.83-million market cap, with 52-week extremes of $6.82 and $2.71.
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