by Ewan Downie
So far in 2017, we have released two mineral resource estimates detailing multi-million ounce opportunities that will continue to be the focus of our exploration teams. In addition, we announced going ahead with a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) at McCoy-Cove and have an exciting high grade drill result we are following-up at Hasaga in Red Lake. We haven’t talked a lot about our two producing assets, our 100%-owned Mercedes Mine in Sonora, Mexico and our 40%-owned South Arturo Mine near Carlin, Nevada. Both sites have been working diligently to follow-up on strong Q4 2016 production results. Their dedication to safe, high-margin production is serving our shareholders well. We are extremely pleased with the continued strong performance at both sites during the quarter, especially at Mercedes where we have recognized a seamless transition from the previous operators. Numerous initiatives at Mercedes have resulted in increased throughput, particularly beginning late in the quarter and production from South Arturo continues to surpass expectations. One such initiative is to increase the number of production faces at the mine, which reduces the production risk that comes with relying on too few headings and helps get us closer to “filling the mill” on a daily basis. We are on track to meet the top end of our 2017 production guidance and remain focussed on further operational initiatives to ensure long-term production from both mines.
In late March, we were excited to have a chance to showcase the Mercedes Mine to a broad range of institutional investors and analysts. We are especially pleased with the nearly 29,000 ounces of gold production from South Arturo so far in 2017. In fact, South Arturo continues to report a positive reconciliation versus block model estimates on life-of-mine production to date.
We are cautiously optimistic regarding the gold price and are happy to see the recent bump-up in the price since the beginning of April. That being said, we know we are being measured by our performance and ability to deliver, and delivering safe, consistent production will always remain job one.