PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Northern Star has reported record gold sales for both the June quarter and the full year ended June, resulting in a record underlying free cash flow of A$218-million for the quarter, despite a A$44-million spend on growth capital and exploration.
Gold sales for the quarter reached 262 717 oz, up from the 239 031 oz sold in the previous quarter, with full-year gold sales reaching 900 388 oz.
The Australian operations sold a record 727 352 oz during the full year, and a record 212 466 oz in the quarter, while the Pogo mine, in Alaska, sold 173 036 oz in the full year and 50 251 oz in the June quarter.
Group gold production for the June quarter was up from the 237 070 oz in the March quarter to A$267 361 oz, while full-year production reached 905 177 oz.
The Jundee operation contributed 102 198 oz in the June quarter, while the Kalgoorlie gold operations contributed a further 83 720 oz. The Super Pit added 32 564 oz during the three months to June, while Pogo delivered 54 925 oz.
Pogo is expected to produce at around 75% of its potential capacity while the Covid-19 pandemic remains an issue, given the impact of the virus in Alaska.
“Our quarterly sales of 262 717 oz was not only a record, but also very solid given the imposts stemming from the Covid-19 measures we moved quickly to put in place,” said Northern Star executive chairperson Bill Beament.
“All-in sustaining costs were restricted to A$1 475/oz despite the impact of these measures, and therefore margins were robust given the average selling price of A$2 487/oz. As a result, underlying free cash flow was a record A$218-million.
“All together, this demonstrates the significant potential to grow our free cash flow as the impacts of Covid-19 on production and costs are alleviated and, importantly, as our exposure to the spot gold price increases.”
Northern Star will continue to reduce its hedge book in the current half, providing scope for further growth in margins and free cash flow, and to cement the company’s position as one of the most unhedged and profitable ASX-listed gold producers, Beament said.