With spot gold up over $100 per ounce from February 2017, it was an opportune time for Canadian mineral processor Inca One Gold Corp. (TSX-V: IO) to have its best February. The Vancouver-based company’s activities consist of operations in Peru, the sixth biggest gold producer in the world, where it buys minerals from government-registered small-scale miners for processing at its full-service Chala One milling facility in the southern part of the country.
On Tuesday, Inca One said that production rose to 33 percent to 72 tonnes per day, or 2,018 tonnes for the month, compared to 49 tonnes per day, or 1,522 tonnes, during last February. Edward Kelly, chief executive and president at Inca One, noted that February is typically a slower month for business.
Currently, capacity at the mill, which was purchased in 2013 and brought to commercial production in February 2015, is 100 tonnes per day, although the company is in the process of applying for permits to raise capacity to 350 tonnes per day.
Gold exports in February hit a record high for the company during any February, climbing to more than 910 ounces. In the year prior month, 624 ounces of gold were produced and exported, marking an improvement of 46 percent. Month-over-month gold production also increased, edging upward by 10 percent.
The company also said that it grew its ore stockpile substantially thanks to having more cash after completing a private placement in January that generated gross proceeds of C$2.3 million. Nearly 80 percent more material (2,066 tones) was received during the month compared January.
Kelly said that he expects “steady improvement” in throughput and production at the Chala plant in the coming months on the back of allocating more capital for mineral purchases and implementing improvements to maximize crushing and milling effectiveness, as well as gold recovery, which is expected to deliver profitability.
Investors aren’t exactly clamoring over the company’s best month of exports; shares are trading ahead 7.14% at C$0.075 as the lunch hour approaches in Toronto. Since wrapping 2017 at 6 cents, shares have run as high as 10.5 cents in January before slipping back to current levels.