Atlantic Gold posts record production

·2 min read

HALIFAX – Nearly three-dozen charges pending for violating Nova Scotia’s Environment Act have done nothing to impede Atlantic Gold’s growth over the past half year, according to financial statements released by its Australian parent company St Barbara.

For the six months ending December 31, 2020, “Atlantic Gold production was 53,919 ounces [compared with 47,060 ounces in the year-earlier period] … a record for the operations,” a 2021 interim financial report from the company’s board of directors’, issued on February 17, stated.

“Atlantic Gold unit cash costs for the period were $703 per ounce, reflecting the benefits of an established local work force and infrastructure to support mining operations,” the report added. “In the period, Atlantic Gold generated net cash flows of $50,682,000 [compared with $56,099,000 during the last six months of 2019], after sustaining capital expenditure [to achieve processing improvements] of $10,526,000.”

The performance was enough to earn a special shout-out from St Barbara’s Managing Director and CEO Craig Jetson in the company’s half-year 2020 report. “Over consecutive halfs, Atlantic Gold has delivered record production as continuous improvements in mill throughout generated early returns,” he said.

Atlantic Gold’s operations include one mine at Moose River, N.S., and other projects either under development or planned for Beaver Dam, Fifteen Mile Stream and Cochrane Hill along the province’s Eastern Shore.

The latter, located near Sherbrooke, has been a source of public concern and controversy over its potential environmental impacts. The project’s opening has been delayed by four years, pending completion of provincial and federal assessments.

In the interim report, the company said:

“Atlantic Gold has received official notification from Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) of legal proceedings in relation to 32 environmental incidents (27 prior to acquisition in 2019), which were self-reported by the Company to NSE. Atlantic Gold has been proactively working with NSE to address these matters. Full and thorough remediation work was conducted at the time of the incidents, all of which were reported, with an ongoing focus on mitigation.

As for the state of the charges, Atlantic Gold Communications Manager Dustin O’Leary said in an email, “St Barbara Ltd is working through the legal process in relation to road siltation at our Moose River Gold Mine site. We respect the legal process that is underway and continue to work diligently with Nova Scotia Environment and federal regulators to manage environmental conditions around our worksites.”

Said the interim report: “There is no connection with or impact on current mining activities, including the tailings processing and management facility. Any consequences from these charges are unlikely to have a material impact on the financial results.”

Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal