Westgold boosts quarterly output, mulls potential lithium spin-off

31st October 2017

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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JOHANNESBURG ( – Western Australian gold miner Westgold has grown its gold production in the September quarter to 66 288 oz, placing the company on track to achieve its yearly guidance range of 310 000 oz to 340 000 oz.

The September quarter output is a 6.3% improvement on that of the June quarter and also higher than the March quarter production. Westgold produced gold at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of A$1 229/oz and is aiming for a full-year AISC in the range of A$1 220/oz to A$1 280/oz.

The Central Murchison gold project (CMGP) continued its ramp-up in the September quarter, increasing production by 6.9% quarter-on-quarter to 30 428 oz. Westgold reported that minor plant modifications enabled throughput to increase by 17% on the preceding quarter to 422 843 t, but that it remained shy of an expected 1.8-million-tonne-a-year rate. Further modifications were planned.

The miner added that the acquisition of the Tuckabianna gold plant was considered a “game-changer” for the maturing CMGP. In terms of a revised development strategy for the operation, the Tuckbianna plant would be refurbished and recommissioned at an estimated cost of A$16-million to A$18-million.  Engineering studies to start the refurbishment had started and were expected to be completed in the March quarter of next year.

The Fortnum gold project delivered 7 981 oz in the three months ended September – its first full operating quarter. The South Kalgoorlie operations produced 11 290 oz, which is less than the June quarter output of 15 641 oz, while output at the Higginsville operation remained stable at 16 589 oz.

Meanwhile, Westgold announced on Tuesday that it was considering a potential spin-off of its lithium rights into a special purpose vehicle. The company said it was evaluating its lithium potential within its freehold and leasehold lands in the Kalgoorlie–Norseman belts.

The miner closed the quarter with cash and working capital of A$37-million.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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