JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner Silver Lake lifted its June quarter gold production by 37% quarter-on-quarter to 46 393 oz, taking full-year output to 148 244 oz – a 5% improvement on the previous year’s production performance.
The company, which mines gold in the Mount Monger region of Western Australia, sold 37 515 oz in the June quarter and increased its full-year sales from 132 400 oz in 2016 to 137 000 oz in 2017.
A gold sales guidance of 135 000 oz to 145 000 oz has been set for the 2018 financial year.
The company on Friday reported strong quarterly production across all three of its operating mines, with its Daisy underground complex delivering a 16% increase in gold production, the Majestics openpit showing a 34% improvement and the Maxwells underground mine also delivering higher ounces consistent with mining operations ramping up to targeted production levels.
The strong production performance helped to lower costs, with the all-in sustaining cost falling from A$1 370/oz in the third quarter to A$1 297/oz in the fourth quarter.
Silver Lake is investing in low capital intensity projects to transition the Mount Monger mines to longer life operations with increased production visibility. The miner will spend A$8.9-million on restarting mining at Cock-eyed Bob in the first half of the 2018 financial year and A$10.7-million on the Aldiss operation in the second half of the financial year.
It has also budgeted A$11.8-million for exploration in 2018, targeting sustaining and growth prospects in the Daisy complex, Mount Belches and Aldiss areas to leverage off existing mine development and infrastructure.
MD Luke Tonkin said in a statement that restarting the Cock-eyed Bob underground mine was an example of how Silver Lake was delivering its strategy of targeting cash margins.
He added that the Mount Belches area would become an increasingly important part of the Mount Monger camp with the both the shallow, high-grade underground mines, Maxwells and Cock-eyed Bob, remaining open along strike and at depth.
“The combination of Daisy Complex and Mount Belches has the Mount Monger camp well positioned to be a strong cash flow generator for years to come as Silver Lake pursues future growth opportunities.”
Last month, Silver Lake sold its Murchison assets for A$10-million.