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Northern Star flags costs increases

27th April 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner Northern Star Resources has increased its all-in sustaining cost (AISC) estimates for the 2023 financial year, following a tough March quarter.


Gold sales in the March quarter declined to 363 000 oz, down from the 404 000 oz sold in the December quarter, with the AISC increasing from A$1 746/oz to A$1 813/oz in the same period.

The miner said on Thursday that group production during the quarter was slightly lower than anticipated, primarily because of longer than scheduled mill downtime at Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) and Pogo alongside Thunderbox commissioning stability. Production delayed in the March quarter is expected to be recovered in the June quarter.

The Kalgoorlie operations contributed 191 031 oz during the quarter, with Yandal selling 125 072 oz. The Pogo operation, in Alaska, contributed 46 978 oz.

“This quarter was a challenging one for Northern Star but we have emerged with positive momentum, and the prospect of improved production across the group, to remain on track for a strong finish to 2023. Unplanned mill outages at KCGM and Pogo have been addressed and the team is now focused on delivering our full-year production guidance,” said MD Stuart Tonkin.

“I am extremely grateful to the Pogo operations team, which worked tirelessly to repair the damaged mill motor in a safe, cost- efficient and timely manner. Pogo has returned to normalised operating levels with a continued focus on high-grade stope ore.

“Northern Star was able to improve the AISC performance across most of our assets with total costs, in dollar terms, lower than in the previous quarter. Unit costs will reflect this effort on increasing production. Navigating the current cost environment remains challenging despite the benefits of our size and scale as well as our internal contracting business, Northern Star Mining Services.”

While the company has revised its full year AISC expectations, production guidance has remained unchanged at between 1.56-million and 1.68-million ounces of gold.

Northern Star’s exploration budget of A$125-million is maintained. Growth capital expenditure guidance has been revised from A$650-million to approximately A$700-million, primarily by KCGM where increased volumes of waste movement has been accelerated. Corporate capex has increased to A$20-million due to additional Kalgoorlie properties purchased and further progress of KCGM mill optimisation studies.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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