Gold miner Evolution Mining has achieved its production and cost guidance targets for the seventh consecutive year.
The 2018 financial year saw the miner’s gold production sit at the top end of its 750,000-805,000oz guidance range, delivering 801,197oz of gold at a record low production cost of $797/oz.
The second biggest ASX-listed gold producer has also lifted its 2019 financial year production guidance to 720,000-770,000oz at a production cost of $900/oz. The increase in production cost is primarily due to the impact of a possible lower copper price, planned lower grades at some sites and treatment of stockpile material at Mt Rawdon.
The robust 2018 financial year performance ultimately boosted the company’s cash balance by $286 million, ending the 2018 financial year with a strong total of $323 million.
Evolution’s strong cash flow was partly underpinned by its Queensland-based operations, Mt Rawdon, Mt Carlton and Ernest Henry, which posted record high net cash flows of $50 million, $109 million and $219 million respectively.
Meanwhile, four of Evolution’s six operations, NSW-based Cowal, and Queensland-based Mt Carlton, Cracow and Ernest Henry, also exceeded their production guidance.
Yesterday, the company announced its decision to take back its tenement rights from Norton Gold Fields to the Castle Hill gold deposit at the WA-based Mungari operation. According to the company, Norton failed to complete a stage one open pit according to the timing set out in its right-to-mine agreement.
Evolution chairman Jake Klein said, “Full ownership of Castle Hill materially extends the mine life at Mungari and provides the flexibility to optimise the long-term future of the operation.
“Importantly, we now have control over the timing of development at Castle Hill.”
Evolution was created in late 2011 through the merger of Catalpa Resources and Conquest Mining and the concurrent acquisition of Newcrest Mining’s interests in the Cracow and Mt Rawdon mines.
The company has continued to grow through acquisition, completing the acquisition of Cowal in July 2015 and Mungari in August 2015.