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Mill outage spells challenging quarter for Northern Star

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Northern Star Resources reports mixed results for the quarter, owing primarily to interruptions at Kalgoorlie consolidated gold mines and Pogo.

The company sold 191,031 ounces (oz) of gold from its Kalgoorlie production centre. Gold here was produced at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of A$1781 per ounce. Northern Star has revised its financial guidance for the year, raising the AISC estimate at Kalgoorlie from 1560 – 1660 up to 1700 – 1735.

Northern Star sold 46,978oz gold at an AISC of US$1668 per ounce. The gold company has since revised down 2023 gold production targets at Pogo from 260 – 290 to 225 – 240. The company also raised the AISC.

Extended mill downtime is understood to be the cause of lower production from these two sites.

But it was business as usual at the Yandal production centre, which sold 125,072oz of gold at an AISC of A$1627 per ounce. Yearly targets at Yandal remain unchanged.

Northern Star managing director Stuart Tonkin reacted to the results.

“This quarter was a challenging one for Northern Star but we have emerged with positive momentum, and the prospect of improved production across the group, to remain on track for a strong finish to the 2023 financial year,” he said.

“Unplanned mill outages at KCGM and Pogo have been addressed and the team is now focused on delivering our full-year production guidance.

“I am extremely grateful to the Pogo operations team, which worked tirelessly to repair the damaged mill motor in a safe, cost-efficient and timely manner.

In total the company sold 363 thousand ounces of gold for the quarter at an all-in sustaining cost of $1813. Northern Star spent $191 million on growth capital and $34 million on exploration.

These results make it “the best year-to-date quarter for cash generated at operations, after capex and exploration spend,” the company told the ASX.

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