TORONTO, March 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — HARTE GOLD CORP. (“Harte Gold” or the “Company”) (TSX: HRT / OTC: HRTFF / Frankfurt: H4O) announces the following measures have been taken to ensure the safety of all stakeholders and local communities from the threat of novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”).
To preserve the health and safety of its workforce and the surrounding communities, the following actions have been taken with immediate effect:
Sugar Zone Mine Temporary Suspension of Operations
The Company has temporarily suspended operations of the Sugar Zone mine until further notice. All non-essential work has been suspended including exploration activities. The work force at site has been reduced to critical support staff to ensure underground maintenance, mine safety and environmental stewardship.
The Company has formed an Oversight Committee to ensure an orderly demobilization strategy is in place and the safe transportation of its workforce from site. A staff of approximately 16 employees including mine rescue staff will continue to service the mine during this period.
Mandatory Social Distancing and Camp Safety
During this period the camp and kitchen will be temporarily closed and employees at site will be housed in cabins detached from one another.
Administrative staff have been mandated to work from home. Common areas at site will also be closed and appropriate social distancing measures are in place.
Job Security and Business Continuity
The Company has assured its workforce that all jobs will be secured at such time normal operations resume.
The Company will continue to conduct business using technology and hosting of virtual meetings. Employees have been provided work-from-home policies that will be followed for conducting business.
Impact to 2020 Guidance
Production in Q1 2020 is expected to be higher than previous quarters, representing another record quarter of production. The Company is also pleased with continued improvement in key indicators for Q1 like waste development, backfill rates and the ratio of stope to sill production.
However, due to uncertainty around when normal operations will resume, the Company cannot provide assurance guidance targets will be achieved at this time. An update to the market will be provided in mid April and the Company will provide further disclosure on production and guidance at that time.
The Company expects it will have sufficient cash resources to withstand a prolonged scenario. The Company is actively managing its liquidity and has entered a cash preservation mode, which includes the deferral of all non-critical expenditures.
The Company has also informed its senior lender, BNP Paribas (“BNPP”), who continues to be supportive and is working with the Company to provide financial flexibility during this period. The Company has also notified royalty holders that payments will be suspended until normal mine operations resume.
About Harte Gold Corp.
Harte Gold holds a 100% interest in the Sugar Zone Mine located in White River, Canada. The Sugar Zone Mine entered commercial production in 2019. The Company previously disclosed its production guidance for 2020 of 42,000 to 48,000 gold ounces (for more information refer to the Company’s News Release dated January 9, 2020). The Company has further potential through exploration at the Sugar Zone Property, which encompasses 79,335 hectares covering a significant greenstone belt. Harte Gold trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “HRT”, on the OTC under the symbol “HRTFF” and on the Frankfurt Exchange under the symbol “H4O”.
Cautionary note regarding forward-looking information:
This news release includes “forward-looking statements”, within the meaning of applicable securities legislation, which are based on the opinions and estimates of management and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as “seek”, “anticipate”, “budget”, “plan”, “continue”, “estimate”, “expect”, “forecast”, “may”, “will”, “project”, “predict”, “potential”, “targeting”, “intend”, “could”, “might”, “should”, “believe” and similar words suggesting future outcomes or statements regarding an outlook. Specific forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, forecasting gold production and operating cost guidance for 2020 and 2020 capital expenditures guidance. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions including material estimates and assumptions related to the factors set forth below that, while considered reasonable by the Company as at the date of this press release in light of management’s experience and perception of current conditions and expected developments, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Known and unknown factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements and information.
Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, there being no events of default or breaches of key financing agreements, including agreements with BNP Paribas and Appian; the Company being able to attract and retain qualified candidates to join the Company’s management team and board of directors, risks associated with the mining industry, including operational risks in exploration, development and production; delays or changes in plans with respect to exploration or development projects or capital expenditures; the uncertainty of reserve estimates; the uncertainty of estimates and projections in relation to production, costs and expenses; the uncertainty surrounding the ability of the Company to obtain all permits, consents or authorizations required for its operations and activities; and health, safety and environmental risks, the risk of commodity price and foreign exchange rate fluctuations, the ability of Harte Gold to fund the capital and operating expenses necessary to achieve the business objectives of Harte Gold, the uncertainty associated with commercial negotiations and negotiating with foreign governments and risks associated with international business activities, as well as other risks and uncertainties which are more fully described in the Company’s Annual Information Form dated April 1, 2019, and in other filings of the Company with securities and regulatory authorities which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Due to the risks, uncertainties and assumptions inherent in forward-looking statements, prospective investors in securities of the Company should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of risks, uncertainties and other factors are not exhaustive. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof and the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or in any other documents filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except in accordance with applicable securities laws. The forward-looking statements are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.
The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.