Today, Aurizon announced that its 100% owned Casa Berardi mine for the year ended December 31, 2008 produced 158,830 ounces of gold from the processing of 654,397 tonnes at an average grade of 8.2 grams of gold per tonne. These results were in line with the most recent guidance of 155,000 to 160,000 ounces.
According to the press release, ore processed in the fourth quarter totaled 169,291 tonnes at an average grade of 7.7 grams of gold per tonne. The average daily mine production for the quarter was 1,840 tonnes per day, up 4.9% from the previous quarter’s rate of 1,754 tonnes per day. Mill recoveries of 91.5% resulted in gold production of 38,364 ounces for the quarter.
David P. Hall, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Aurizon had a strong 2008. The significant cash flow from Casa Berardi enabled us to reduce debt and increase cash balances during the year. In 2009, we will focus on controlling costs, maintaining a strong financial position and maximizing opportunities to develop our assets and grow our future production profile.”
Forecasting next year's results, the company stated in the press release that it has been estimated that Casa Berardi will produce between 150,000 to 155,000 ounces of gold in 2009 at an average grade of 7.9 grams of gold per tonne. Average daily mine production is expected to be at 1,800 tonnes per day. The small decrease in gold production from last year is attributable to lower average gold grades.