Jaguar Mining Inc. said March 26 that annual production at its Pilar mine in Brazil is expected to nearly double to between 55,000 ounces and 60,000 ounces over the next 36 months.
Pilar is part of the company's Caete complex, which also includes the underground Roça Grande mine and mill operation.
The company produced 34,017 ounces of gold from Pilar in 2017, and output is pegged to increase to between 39,000 ounces and 47,000 ounces this year.
Jaguar's total production guidance for 2018 remains unchanged at between 90,000 ounces and 105,000 ounces of gold.
The projected output growth at Pilar is supported by a recently updated resource estimate, which showed a 10% increase in contained ounces in the measured and indicated category as well as a 104% rise in the inferred category.
As of Dec. 31, 2017, Pilar hosts measured and indicated resources of 3.8 million tonnes at 4.37 g/t gold for 532,000 ounces of gold, and inferred resources of 2.4 million tonnes at 5.69 g/t gold for 433,000 ounces.
Proven and probable reserves, meanwhile, total 974,000 tonnes at 3.99 g/t gold for 125,000 ounces of gold, reflecting a two-year replacement of reserve depletion through production and the addition of new reserves.
Additionally, in order to refocus resources on its Pilar and Turmalina gold mines, as well as exploration growth activities, the company will place the Roça Grande mine on care and maintenance.
Roça Grande is located adjacent to the Caete processing plant and has been supplementing feed from Pilar. Over the past few years, work has been focused on mining the end of the known resources on two orebodies while infill drilling continued to expand the resources. Due to these conditions, output has fallen, resulting in an increase in cash costs above the average realized gold price.