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Steppe Gold says cold weather disrupted production in Mongolia in first quarter

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(Kitco News) - Steppe Gold (TSX: STGO) reported today that it produced zero ounces of gold in Q1 2021. The company said it has paused leaching and gold production at its ATO mine in Mongolia in first quarter as cold weather made leaching conditions less favourable.

The company added that this cold weather disruption will be remedied for the 2021/22 winter season with the installation of a boiler plant to heat process water nearing completion.

Steppe Gold’s revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2021 was $1,634,000 on sales of 945 gold ounces and 861 silver ounces with average realized prices per ounce of $1,938 and $26 respectively.

During the three months ended March 31, 2021, 170,130 tonnes of ore was mined and 189,283 tonnes of ore was stacked on the leach pad with an average gold grade of 1.91 g/t and an average silver grade of 10.1g/t. Steppe said it resumed leaching and production in early April 2021 with a successful gold pour in late April.

The company said it is targeting annual production in 2021 and 2022 of 50,000 oz and then a transition to the fresh rock ores in 2023. However, the achievement of full year production forecasts is dependent on no further delays on procurement due to COVID 19, Steppe explained. Reagent supplies are currently unpredictable and any further delays will reduce production forecasts for 2021, the company warned.

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