JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Australian gold miner Evolution Mining is on track to “comfortably deliver” on its group guidance of 750 000 oz to 805 000 oz for the 2018 financial year, with production forecast to be above the midpoint of the guidance range and all-in sustaining cost (AISC) at, or below, the bottom end of its A$820/oz to A$870/oz guidance.
The miner reported a record low AISC of A$784/oz, which it said ranked Evolution as one of the world’s lowest cost gold producers. When the AISC is converted to US dollar terms, it equates to $602/oz.
Group gold production from Evolution’s mines in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia, decreased from 220 971 oz in the September quarter to 186 488 oz in the three months under review, taking half-year output to 407 459 oz.
Quarter-on-quarter silver production fell by 19% to 238 429 oz and copper production dipped by 1.7% to 6 026 t.
The Cowal mine, in New South Wales, produced 62 286 oz of gold at an AISC of A$852/oz, while the Mungari mine, in Western Australia, produced 28 156 oz of gold at an AISC of A$1 288/oz.
In Queensland, Mt Carlton produced 29 927 oz of payable gold contained in 17 541 dry metric tonnes of gold concentrate and 6 123 oz of gold in dore, at an AISC of A$493/oz. Mt Rawdon produced 21 418 oz at an AISC of A$1 056/oz, Cracow produced 20 215 oz at A$1 237/oz and Ernst Henry delivered 24 486 oz of gold and 5 441 t of copper at a record low AISC.
The company achieved operating mine cash flow of A$204.7-million, compared with A$210.4-million in the September quarter. Net mine cash flow was A$134.2-million for the quarter, which included a record net cash flow from Ernest Henry, in Queensland, of A$55.1-million.
Meanwhile, Evolution also continued to pursue an organic growth programme through aggressive exploration and resource definition drilling during the December quarter.
“Aggressive drilling campaigns continued with total drilling of 39 024 metres for resource definition purposes and 37 417 metres as part of its exploration in the December quarter. For the year-to-date, 177 845 metres have been drilled across the group.”
Evolution Mining increased its 2018 full-year exploration budget to between A$30-million and A$40-million.