VANCOUVER — In a climate of volatile gold prices and rising costs, producers have become increasingly focused on streamlining and improving operations at established, brownfield assets, and Vancouver-based Goldcorp (TSX: G; NYSE: GG) is no exception. The company’s “Operating for Excellence” program is in full swing, and COO George Burns sat down with The Northern Miner to talk about his views on cost control, new technology, and optimization opportunities at Goldcorp’s key production assets.
The company’s efforts appear to be paying early dividends. Goldcorp reported record fourth quarter gold production of 767,700 oz of gold at all-in sustaining cash costs of US$810 per oz. The quarter contributed to an 11% year-on-year jump in annual production, with the company cranking out around 2.7 million oz in 2013. Even as Goldcorp managed its growth, the company’s full year, all-in sustaining costs of US$1,031 per oz were lower than guidance estimates that were pegged at between US$1,050 and US$1,100 per oz.
“When I first got started with the role around a year and a half ago I really saw a big opportunity. The way I look at it there are two aspects to positive change within existing operations,” Burns explains during an interview on the floor of the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference. “The first is on the business side, which focuses on things like increasing production and efficiencies, developing better mine plans, and working on recoveries and processing alternatives. The second is the people side, and that’s been a big focus for us. We want our operators to own this opportunity.”
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