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GOLD: Kirkland Lake expects a million ounces in 2019



TORONTO – Canada’s Kirkland Lake Gold announced on Feb. 21 that management increased its consolidated three-year production guidance and improved its unit cost guidance for 2019.

In a press release, the miner explained that there is potential for a million ounces in 2019 as guidance was increased to 920,000 to 1,000,000 oz. from the previously announced 740,000 to 800,000 oz.

For next year, Kirkland Lake said guidance would be 930,000 to 1,010,000 oz. and for 2021, 995,000 to 1,055,000 oz.

In detail, the Toronto-based firm rose the three-year guidance for its Fosterville mine in Victoria, Australia to 550,000 to 610,000 oz. for 2019 and 2020, from the previous 390,000 to 430,000 oz., but kept the 2021 production guidance at 570,000 to 610,000 oz.

The company also expects output from its Holloway mine in Ontario to grow because operations are to be resumed soon. Thus, guidance for this mine was set at 20,000 oz. in 2019 increasing to 50,000 oz. by 2021.

Fosterville’s improvement is related to changes to the mine plan to provide access to high grade Swan zone stopes earlier than previously expected.

The Kirkland Lake also improved its 2019 consolidated unit cost guidance with operating cash costs per ounce guidance revised to $300 to $320 from $360 to $380 previously, with all-in supporting costs per ounce sold improved to $520 to $560 compared to previous guidance of $630 to $680; Fosterville’s 2019 operating costs per ounce sold guidance improved to $170 to $190 from $200 to $220 previously.

The company also announced reserve and mineral estimates for Dec. 31, 2018, which include growth in reserve ounces and average grades at both Fosterville and Macassa, as well as on a consolidated basis. Consolidated mineral reserves increased by 1.1 million oz. or 24% to 5.75 million oz. at 15.8 g/t gold.

“Since November 2016, Fosterville has been transformed into one of the world’s highest grade, most profitable gold mines, which has greatly benefited Kirkland Lake Gold and its shareholders. The completion of Fosterville’s Dec. 31, 2018, reserve and resource estimates, with the related revisions to its life of mine plan and production profile, have taken that transformation to an even higher level, with the potential for much more to come,” said Tony Makuch, president and CEO of Kirkland Lake Gold, in the media statement.

Makuch emphasized that it is the 34% increase in the Fosterville reserve grade that is driving the million-ounce revised production guidance. He also praised the effectiveness of the infill drilling programs both at Fosterville and Macassa, the latter in Ontario.

“At Fosterville, there is considerable potential for further mineral reserve growth at a number of areas, including the Swan zone, other parts of the Lower Phoenix system, Harrier and a number of other targets, like Robbin’s Hill, where early exploration results demonstrate the potential for attractive economic orebodies. Turning to Macassa, we converted close to half a million ounces of mineral resources to mineral reserves in 2018 and have a number of high potential areas in and around the South Mine Complex that we are targeting for future growth in mineral reserves and mineral resources,” Makuch said.

This story first appeared on www.Mining.com.