In a news release, Pretium Resources Inc. (PVG:TSX; PVG:NYSE) announced Q4/20 and FY/20 production results and offered production and financial guidance for FY/21. The firm also reported that near the end of the year it made a $160 million discretionary payment toward the outstanding balance on its credit facility.
Pretium Resources' President and CEO Jacques Perron remarked, "For the first time in the Company's history we have achieved our annual production guidance, demonstrating the hard-work and perseverance of our team in light of the exceptional challenges we faced this year. ...Our gold production along with the value captured from the sale of the Snowfield Property has allowed us to significantly reduce our long-term debt and maintain a robust cash balance. We are now in a position to focus on further improving the safety, predictability and stability of production, while also prioritizing resource expansion and investing in the future of Brucejack."
The firm reported that in Q4/20 the Brucejack Mine produced 88,399 oz gold at an average grade of 8.9 grams per tonne (g/t) with an average gold recovery of 97%. The company noted that production increased to 3,800 tonnes per day (tpd) during December.
The company indicated that for FY/20, it produced 347.743 Koz gold at Brucejack, which was slightly above the midpoint of its yearly guidance range of 325-365 Koz. The firm noted that processing yielded an average of 8.5 g/t gold with an average gold recovery of 97%.
Pretium pointed out that during FY/20 it paid down a total of $226.7 million in outstanding debt on its credit line, reducing the total balance at year-end to $38.0 million. The firm highlighted that the debt reduction payments included a discretionary payment of $160.0 million that was applied to the revolving portion of the company's credit facility prior to the end of 2020.
The company advised that for FY/21 it expects gold production at the Brucejack Mine will be in the range of 325-365 Koz with a midpoint of 345 Koz. The firm estimates that it will process around 3,800 tpd averaging 7.5-8.5 g/t at a targeted gold recovery rate of 97%.
The firm noted that for FY/21, it expects all-in sustaining costs (AISC) of $1,060 to $1,190 per ounce of gold sold and cash costs of $820 to $920 per ounce of gold sold.
The company explained that its 2021 drill program for Brucejack definition, sustaining and resource expansion is expected to cost around $23 million and include about 195,000 meters of diamond drilling. The firm stated that the program as planned will consist of in-resource definition drilling (40%), in-resource and sustaining drilling (20%) and resource expansion drilling (40%). The company said that six drills will be deployed initially underground and two more surface drills are scheduled to be added in the summer.
The firm stated that for FY/21 it forecasts that free cash flow generated will be in the range of $120-170 million based upon $1,700 per ounce gold prices. The firm added that these estimates include expansion-oriented capital expenditures that are predicted to total approximately $55-65 million.
Pretium Resources stated that it intends to release operational and financial results for Q4/20 and FY/20 after markets close for trading on Thursday, February 25, 2021.
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