Kirkland Lake CEO Tony Makuch says Detour Lake was the 'right acquisition at the right time'.
PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Triple-listed gold miner Kirkland Lake Gold has reported a 37%, or 91 184 oz, increase in production for the third quarter of 2020, compared with the previous corresponding period.
The ASX-, TSX-, and NYSE-listed company produced 339 584 oz of gold in the three months to September, with year-to-date production up by 44%, or 305 345 oz, on the previous quarter, to over one-million ounces.
Production at the Detour Lake mine, in Canada, increased 131 992 oz to 140 067 oz on the previous corresponding period, while production at the Fosterville operation, in Australia, increased from 158 328 oz to 161 489 oz.
However, production from the Macassa operation, in Canada, declined from 62 945 oz to 38 028 oz in the third quarter, with production in the period under review impacted by Covid-19 restrictions and reduced equipment availability.
President and CEO Tony Makuch said that a key driver for the production growth in the third quarter was the contribution of 140 067 oz from Detour Lake mine, which was obtained on January 31, through the acquisition of Detour Gold Corporation.
“This was clearly the right acquisition at the right time, with Detour Lake already making a significant contribution to both our production as well as our cash flow and earnings. We are also achieving very encouraging exploration results early in our drill programmes at Detour Lake, which support our view that we can generate substantial growth in mineral reserves, which in turn will lead to higher production levels and improved unit costs going forward.”
Makuch noted that the Fosterville mine had another strong quarter in the three months to September, which was driven by higher tonnage as Kirkland Lake benefited from recent investments in ventilation and paste fill to increase mining rates and begin using the excess capacity in the Fosterville mill.
“At Macassa, we were affected by a number of factors, some related to reduced operations earlier in the year, as well as the impact of health and safety protocols, including those related to Covid-19. We also saw reduced availability of mobile equipment, largely due to extremely high temperatures in the mine, as well as unscheduled downtime in the mill. We are already seeing higher grades at Macassa and expect improved overall results at the mine going forward.
“We continued to generate solid results in the third quarter, and have entered the final quarter of the year well positioned to achieve our full year production guidance of 1.35-million to 1.4-million ounces,” said Makuch.
“We also saw a large increase in our cash position during the quarter, to $848-million, further enhancing our already industry-leading financial strength.”