Canadian gold company Argonaut Gold has reported first gold pour at its Magino Mine in Ontario, Canada.

The company said the process plant at the open-pit mine is expected to start commercial production in the third quarter of 2023.

Argonaut Gold president and CEO Richard Young said: “The Magino mine is key to achieving our vision to become a low-cost, mid-tier North America gold producer that creates significant value for all our stakeholders and proudly demonstrates responsible mining.”

A past-producing underground gold mine located 40km north-east of Wawa, Ontario, the Magino mine comprises seven patented mining claims, four leased mining claims and 69 unpatented mining claims.

Argonaut is planning to begin a 12–15-month exploration and reserve development programme at the Magino mine in the third quarter.

The programme aims to convert open-pit resources to reserves within the current resource pit cone, test deep underground high-grade targets, and examine open-pit targets along the strike west of the current deposit.

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Argonaut Gold chief operating officer Marc Leduc said: “With the first gold pour milestone behind us, we are now focused on completing commissioning and ramping up the mill to steady state.

“In addition, we are looking to further grow our flagship gold mine as we commence a reserve development drilling programme intending to increase reserves in combination with studies to expand and optimise mill throughput, both scheduled to begin later this summer.”

This year, the mine is expected to produce between 72,000oz and 81,000oz of gold at cash costs of between $850 (C$1,123) and $950 per ounce.

The company will conduct a review of optimisation and expansion opportunities at the mill in the third quarter, to potentially increase its annual production.