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Novo ups gold production 22% in Q3, says it 'fell short of expectations' due to lower grades

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(Kitco News) - Today, Novo Resources (TSX: NVO) announced that in Q3 2021, production at its Beatons Creek project, located in Nullagine, Western Australia, totalled 18,144 ounces of gold, representing a 22% increase over Q2 2021 production of 14,890 ounces of gold.

However, the company said that head grades were lower compared to forecast due to previous reliance on wide spaced grade control drilling which results in lower accuracy of the modelled high-nugget effects in the Beatons Creek oxide mineral resource combined with higher mining dilution associated with more complex mining areas.

In order to provide greater certainty in grade forecasting for mine planning, the company said it continues to progress its Beatons Creek grade control drilling program at a spacing of 10 m x 10 m, which provides improved reconciliation between the resource model grade and the actual grade mined.

Importantly, Novo added that its Q3 2021 revenue is C$43 million (A$45.8 million) from the sale of 18,753 oz Au at an average realized gold price of A$2,483, with quarter-end cash balance of C$44.1 million.

Executive Co-Chairman Mike Spreadborough said, “The ramp up of operations since February has proceeded well, with both mining and processing achieving target rates. However, gold production fell short of expectations. We saw lower head grade than forecast as a result of lower accuracy in the grade control grade estimate. We have found that closer spaced drilling is providing more certainty for mine forecasting and we are continuing to progress the completion of this drilling.”

Novo operates its flagship Beatons Creek gold project while exploring and developing its prospective land package covering approximately 13,250 square kilometres in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

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