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Gran Colombia: May gold output nearly back to year-ago levels

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(Kitco News) - Gran Colombia Gold Corp.’s (TSX: GCM) production in May was nearly as much as the same month a year ago, with a slight year-on-year increase at its Segovia operations as mining returned to normal in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company announced Tuesday.

May consolidated output totaled18,129 ounces of gold, which the company said was about 98% of production in May of 2019. The total for the first five months of 2020 was 86,978 ounces, compared with 99,601 ounces in the same period of 2019, with the company blaming the decline on COVID-19 impacts.

The company said it expects to update 2020 production guidance when it reports its mid-year financial results in August.

“We are continuing to operate at both Segovia and Marmato as the COVID-19 national quarantine in Colombia lingers on,” said Lombardo Paredes, chief executive officer. “In May, we benefited from a full month of near-normal operations at Segovia and expect the same for June.”

Segovia produced 16,915 ounces in May, up from 16,363 ounces in the same month last year. This brings Segovia’s total production during the first five months of 2020 to 78,661 ounces, compared with 89,120 in the same period of 2019. In May 2020, head grades improved to 14.2 grams per metric ton from 12.8 g/t in April. The company said it June’s production at Segovia will be in the same range as May.

“At Marmato, access to workers remained limited in May, and we produced about half of what we normally would have expected for the month,” Paredes said. “The outlook appears to be improving in June as the local municipalities have recently allowed more workers to return to the mine. As such, we expect June’s production could reach about 75% of normal.”

At Caldas Gold Corp.’s Marmato mine, operations were hurt in May by restrictions on the movement of people between communities during the national quarantine, which in turn limited the availability of workers at the mine since late March, Gran Colombia said. May output at the mine was 1,214 ounces for the month, down from 2,165 ounces a year ago. However, by the second week of June, Caldas Gold increased the number of workers at the mine and currently expects production for the month to improve to approximately 2,000 ounces.

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