The road to Pretium's Brucejack mine in northwestern British Columbia. Courtesy of Pretium Resources

Pretium Resources met its production targets for the first half of the year at its Brucejack mine after a fitful ramp up. Brucejack, located in northwestern British Columbia, has seen cost overruns and failed to increase production as quickly as expected.

Pretium recovered 111,340 ounces of gold at 14.9 grams per tonne gold in the second quarter, a 47 per cent increase from the previous quarter, for a total of 187,029 ounces for the first half of the year.

Brucejack, a high-grade underground mine, declared commercial production in July 2017 and has an expected mine life of 18 years. Despite a strong start in the first three months of operation, Pretium struggled in the fourth quarter of 2017 and the first of 2018 with lower production than expected due to two of its long-hole drills experiencing unexpected downtime, difficulty blasting a high-grade stope, and lack of access to other stopes.

The company added a third drill to do “back-up” drilling and build an inventory of accessible stopes to mine, according to a fact sheet on its website. 

Related: MABC names Pretium’s Robert Quartermain 2017 Mining Person of the Year

“The successful integration of our grade control program into our mining process has resulted in increased grade to the mill, with production exceeding grade control estimates for the quarter,” said Pretium CEO Joseph Ovsenek. “Brucejack has now achieved steady-state production.”

The company said it expects to maintain steady production, with estimates of 200,000 to 220,000 ounces in the second half of 2018.

Pretium also reported that its all in sustaining costs for the second half of the year would range between US$710 and US$770 down sharply from US$1,009 in the first quarter of this year.

After Brucejack was discovered in 2009, it took just eight years to reach production, compared to more than a decade for most projects.

The stock price suffered significantly amidst the production struggles, falling 26 per cent in a single day in January, but rose 14.5 per cent Monday with the news.