SSR Mining Inc.’s gold production in 2018 exceeded its initial guidance for the seventh consecutive year, the company reported Jan. 15 in its yea-end and fourth-quarter production results.
The Canada-based precious metals producer has three operations, including the Marigold mine in Nevada, the Seabee Gold Operation in Canada and the 75 percent owned and operated Puna Operations joint venture in Argentina.
“As all three of our operations exceeded expectations and with both Marigold and Seabee at or near record annual production, we produced over 345,000 gold equivalent ounces in 2018,” said Paul Benson, Marigold president and CEO, in a statement. “This marks the seventh consecutive year that we have met or exceeded our annual production guidance.”
Marigold surpassed SSR’s expectations for the year, with annual production of 205,160 ounces of gold in 2018, compared to 202,240 ounces of gold produced in 2017.
The mine also achieved record annual metric tons of ore delivered to the leach pads, despite material mined in the fourth quarter decreasing. Higher grade ore was mined in the fourth quarter, however, due to deeper mining.
The company expects production at Marigold to further increase in 2019, with the commissioning of a new leach pad and accelerated construction of another leach pad planned for the year.
SSR also reported record annual gold production at its Seabee Gold Operation at 95,602 ounces of gold in 2018. The operation also achieved an operating record by milling 352,000 metric tons of ore, or 964 metric tons per day.
With the declaration of commercial production of the Chinchillas silver mine — part of the Puna Operations in Argentina — in December, SSR produced 1.2 million ounces of silver in the fourth quarter, a 79 percent increase over the third quarter. The mill averaged 3,800 metric ton per day.
In 2018, Puna Operations produced a total of 3.7 million ounces of silver, 8.8 million pounds of zinc and 3.1 million pounds of lead.
SSR expects to produce 395,000 gold equivalent ounces in 2019, with production increasing at Marigold.
“In the year ahead, we are forecasting production growth to nearly 400,000 gold equivalent ounces, with Seabee and Marigold continuing to deliver to plan and Puna ramping-up to steady-state operations,” Benson said. “Importantly, due to the exploration success across our portfolio and our strong balance sheet, we are able to invest in our assets for the long-term benefit of our shareholders, communities, and employees.”