Mako Mining (TSX.V: MKO) (OTCQX: MAKOF) has done what most juniors dream of, transitioning from a exploration/development company into a full on commercial production mine.
All components of the 500 tonne per day gravity and carbon-in-leach (“CIL”) processing plant have been fully operational since the beginning of May 2021. Since May 12th, when the processing of high-grade mineralization began, the plant has been averaging 456 tonnes per day (“tpd”) at 71% availability (see Table 1). Since this time, the plant has been exclusively processing high-grade diluted vein material with an average grade of 12.52 grams per tonne (“g/t”) gold and recovering an average of 96.3% (see Table 1).
Since May 12th, an average of 596 tpd of diluted vein, historical dump material and other mineralized material above cutoff grade have been mined, with a strip ratio of 14.9 (see Table 1). The stockpile is now approximately 116,748 tonnes and is comprised of 10,354 tonnes of diluted vein material at 11.41 g/t gold and 106,394 tonnes of historical dump and other mineralized material at 2.49 g/t gold for a total of 12,327 ounces of gold (see Table 2).
These levels of plant and mine throughputs are above the thresholds required by Mako to declare commercial production and after averaging these levels for 50 days, Mako has declared commercial production effective July 1, 2021.
Since May 12th, 6,300 ounces of gold have been recovered and 3,506 ounces of gold have been shipped (see Table 1). The variance of approximately 2,800 ounces of gold is a combination of unprocessed gravity concentrates, and gold in process throughout the plant. The buildup of inventory is typical during startup and inventory levels have started to stabilize.
The Company’s cash balance has materially improved since the start of May and commencement of debt repayment, in addition to the ongoing funding of exploration expenditures, is expected later this month.
Looking forward, mining of the Porcelana Zone has commenced and the Company expects to begin blending the diluted vein material with historical dump material and other mineralized material above cutoff grade towards the end of the month. The Porcelana Zone has the highest grade-thickness profile encountered at San Albino.
Akiba Leisman, Chief Executive Officer of Mako states that, “this operating update highlights the extraordinary grades being mined and processed at San Albino even prior to reaching commercial production. Now that we have declared commercial production and have started mining at the Porcelana Zone, a zone with the highest grade-thickness profile encountered at San Albino, we expect to continue delivering similar operating results to those released today. Most importantly, the cash flow being generated at San Albino is providing the flexibility to begin repaying debt and continue funding an aggressive exploration program.”