PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Triple listed gold miner Kirkland Lake Gold has reported a 32% increase in gold production during the fourth quarter ended December, compared with the previous corresponding period.
The ASX-, TSX- and NYSE-listed company on Wednesday announced that all three of its cornerstone assets had achieved their highest quarterly production during the three months to December, with group production reaching 369 434 oz.
The December quarter production was also up from the 339 584 oz produced in the third quarter of 2020.
The Detour Lake mine produced 153 143 oz during the quarter under review, a 9% increase on the third quarter, while Fosterville contributed 164 008 oz, down from the record 191 894 oz produced in the fourth quarter of last year, while the Macassa mine delivered 52 283 oz, compared with the 56 379 oz in the fourth quarter of 2019.
For the calendar year, Kirkland Lake’s production reached 1.36-million ounces, compared with the 974 615 oz produced in the previous full year, with gold poured increasing from 978 455 oz to 1.36-million ounces in the same period.
Gold sales for the quarter reached 371 009 oz, at an average realised price of $1 875/oz, compared with the 278 438 oz sold in the fourth quarter of 2019, and the 331 959 oz sold in the third quarter of 2020.
For the full year, gold sales reached 1.38-million ounces, at $1 772/oz, compared with the 979 733 oz sold in 2019 at a realised price of $1 405/oz.
“Our most significant achievement in 2020 was our extensive response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which clearly demonstrated that, at Kirkland Lake Gold, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our people and the responsible operation of our business,” said company president and CEO Tony Makuch.
“Looking at our operating performance, in many respects our team had its best year ever in 2020. Faced with unprecedented challenges, we generated solid results, with production of 1.36-million ounces achieving our full-year 2020 guidance. Our strong performance was driven by Fosterville, which generated record production of 640 467 oz, including better than expected results during the fourth quarter. Detour Lake and Macassa were significantly impacted by Covid-19, including being placed on reduced operations at the end of the first quarter. Both operations bounced back later in the year, achieving their best quarter of production in the fourth quarter.”
Makuch noted that the company also achieved encouraging drill results at all three of its cornerstone assets, which supports Kirkland Lake’s view that Detour Lake, Macassa and Fosterville were not just three very profitable operations, but were also three of the most exciting exploration stories in the industry.
“We also made excellent progress with our key growth projects, including our #4 Shaft project at Macassa which was advancing ahead of schedule at year-end, with target completion in late 2022. At Fosterville, a twin exploration drive being developed to Robbin’s Hill advanced over 3 200 m, with underground drilling from the drive to commence late this year. We also commenced several key projects at Detour Lake during 2020 in support of the significant production growth we are targeting in the years ahead, with these projects focused on mill enhancements, tailings capacity expansion, and construction of new site infrastructure.”