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SSR Mining reports 3Q18 results

Published by , Assistant Editor
Global Mining Review,

SSR Mining Inc. (SSR Mining) has reported its 3Q18 operating results at its three mines.

Paul Benson, President and CEO of SSR, said: "We delivered our strongest quarter of the year with consolidated gold equivalent production of nearly 95 000 oz, breaking records at Marigold and Seabee while continuing to optimise production and advancing the Chinchillas project at Puna Operations.  With all three operations performing well, we look forward to meeting or exceeding annual guidance for the seventh consecutive year."

In 3Q18, the Marigold mine produced 58 459 oz of gold, an 18% quarterly increase, benefitting from the record ore tonnes stacked in 2Q18.  Gold sales totaled 59 612 oz for the quarter due to strong production and a decrease in bullion inventory. 

During the quarter, a record 21.3 million t of material were mined, a 33% increase compared to the second quarter, due to four additional haul trucks entering service during the quarter, shorter haul distances and improved equipment availabilities.

Approximately 6.9 million t of ore were delivered to the heap leach pads, at a gold grade of 0.32 g/t. This compares to 7.9 million t of ore delivered to the heap leach pads at a gold grade of 0.42 g/t in the second quarter of 2018.  The strip ratio was 2.1:1 for the quarter.

Seabee Gold Operation produced a record 27 831 oz of gold in 3Q18, a quarterly increase of 18%, driven by higher average mill feed grade and increased mill throughput. Gold sales in the quarter were 29 175 oz, 42% higher than the second quarter.  

The mill achieved an average throughput of 959 tpd, a 4% quarterly increase reflecting a higher mining rate at the Santoy mine. Gold recovery for the quarter remained consistent at 97.1%.

During the third quarter of 2018, Puna Operations produced 0.7 million ounces of silver and 3.2 million lb of zinc, reflecting a shift to processing of stockpiles with higher zinc content.  Silver sales were 0.6 million oz for the quarter, marginally lower than production.  We re-commenced zinc concentrate sales during the third quarter, selling 0.4 million lb with a ramp-up in zinc sales anticipated through the fourth quarter.  

Ore was milled at an average rate of 3348 tpd in 3Q18, 23% below 2Q18, due to planned major mill maintenance occurring in July and test processing of Chinchillas ore.  Ore milled in the third quarter contained an average silver grade of 96 g/t, 13% lower than the 110 g/t average silver grade in the second quarter, consistent with processing of increasingly lower grade stockpiles. The average silver recovery in 3Q18 was 70%, a 3% improvement compared to the previous quarter.  

Pre-stripping activities at the Chinchillas site continued to advance during the quarter. Approximately 2.1 million t of waste and 0.3 million t of ore were mined, with ore grades reconciling well to the geological model. Approximately 73 000 t of ore from the Chinchillas pit were delivered to the Pirquitas site, of which approximately 39 000 t were processed in two separate test runs as part of the project execution. The tests successfully validated metallurgical performance of the ore and produced saleable lead-silver and zinc concentrates. 

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