There were 13,841 ounces produced in the December 2017 quarter, 559 ounces more than the previous quarter and 4,243 ounces more than the corresponding quarter in 2016.
The company expects to continue production increases later in 2018 facilitated by improved ore sorting and underground development.
After undertaking ore sorting test work Pantoro is purchasing a state-of-the-art ore sorter from STEINERT Australia, which is expected to be operational at Nicolsons by April.
Mining at the Wagtail open pits was completed in December 2017 as scheduled and work to establish underground access points is underway.
Pantoro aims to have approvals in place to commence underground mining in April 2018.
Paul Cmrlec, managing director, said: “The Nicolsons team has delivered another outstanding operational result during the December quarter.
“Production is expected to remain around current levels for the next two quarters ahead of further substantial increases as underground ore supply from Wagtail and the benefits of ore sorting take effect.”
Reliable plant operations
The processing plant continued to operate reliably at increased production rates during the December quarter.
There were 60,443 tonnes processed at an average grade of 7.67 g/t gold and an average recovery of 92.9%.
The plant has achieved an annual run rate of 230,000 tonnes consistently for the past nine months.
Debt-free by end of April 2018
Pantoro’s debt is being repaid at a monthly rate of 500 ounces and it expects to be debt-free by the end of April 2018.
Cash and gold in hand at the end of the quarter was $15.2 million, up from $14.6 million at 30 September 2017.
Strong news flow
Pantoro has four drill rigs spinning at Nicolsons which will facilitate resource resource and reserve updates in the first half of the year.
Drilling is primarily focused on Nicolsons depth extensions and Wagtail underground definition and extension.
First pass exploration results from other drill targets are expected during the March quarter.
Cmrlec added: “With the outstanding project debt due to be repaid early in 2018, the company is very well positioned to continue its growth trajectory during the coming year.”
Nicolsons is within Pantoro’s 100%-owned Halls Creek Gold Project, 35 kilometres southwest of Halls Creek in the state’s Kimberley Region.
First gold was poured at the project in September 2015.