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Argonaut Gold (TSX: AR) has announced first gold pour at its Magino mine in Dubreuilville, Ontario, representing the company’s first Canadian operation. The process plant ramp-up remains on schedule with commercial production expected in the third quarter of this year, it said.

Once in production, Magino is expected to produce between 72,000-81,000 oz. of gold in 2023 at cash costs of between $850-$950 per ounce, and approximately 148,000 oz. of gold at a cash cost of $868 per ounce in 2024, its first full year of production.

The company recently closed a C$17.5 million flow-through financing to advance the Magino mine towards first gold pour. Located 40 km northeast of the town of Wawa, the deposit was mined intermittently since the mid-1920s, producing 114,319 oz. from 803,135 tonnes of ore that graded 4.43 grams gold per tonne.

“We are proud of the Argonaut team for delivering Canada’s newest gold mine. The Magino mine is key to achieving our vision to become a low-cost, mid-tier North America gold producer,” Argonaut CEO Richard Young said in a media release.

Argonaut is also pursuing additional growth opportunities at Magino. It plans to begin a 12-to-15-month exploration and reserve development program in Q3 2023 to convert open pit resources to reserves, as well as test deep underground targets and open-pit targets along strike west of the current deposit.

At the same time, the company intends to review mill optimization and expansion opportunities, also expected in the third quarter, which would potentially raise throughput rates and increase annual production.

“With the first gold pour milestone behind us, we are now focused on completing commissioning and ramping up the mill to steady state,” COO Marc Leduc said. “In addition, we are looking to further grow our flagship gold mine as we commence a reserve development drilling program intending to increase reserves in combination with studies to expand and optimize mill throughput, both scheduled to begin later this summer.”

Earlier this year, the company upgraded the Magino resources to 132.4 million measured and indicated tonnes grading 0.94 g/t for over 4 million oz. The inferred resource is 20.9 million tonnes at 0.78 g/t for 526,000 oz. Proven and probable reserves currently stand at 65.5 million tonnes grading 1.15 g/t for 2.4 million oz. gold.

Shares of Argonaut Gold gained 1.7% as of 11:30 a.m. EDT Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange, giving the Nevada-based gold miner a market value of C$516.3 million ($390.1m).