Kirkland Lake Gold has defied the odds, reporting strong production numbers at the Fosterville mine in Victoria amid the coronavirus.
First quarter production at Fosterville increased by 24 per cent compared to the same period in 2019, finishing with 159,864 ounces of gold.
Fosterville enjoyed a 46 per cent improvement in its average grade year over year, hitting 42.4 grams per tonne in the first quarter of 2020.
Kirkland Lake chief executive Tony Makuch said the company’s first quarter operations retained very strong results despite the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus.
“We increased production year over year, even before adding in the contribution from Detour Lake mine since January 31 2020,” he said.
“Production growth was once again driven by Fosterville, where we continue to achieve strong grade performance with the Swan Zone.”
Kirkland Lake produced 330,864 ounces as a group, an 18 per cent hike from 279,742 ounces in the previous quarter.
This includes Kirkland Lake’s acquisition of Detour Gold, with the Detour Lake mine in Canada contributing 91,555 ounces to the production.
However, Kirkland Lake has lowered the number of people at mine sites by transitioning its Canadian mines to reduced operations, suspending the Holt Complex operations in northern Ontario and all exploration drilling.
“As part of our COVID-19 protocols, we have suspended exploration drilling at all sites,” Makuch said.
“Notwithstanding, we fully expect to carry out extensive drill programs at Fosterville, Macassa and Detour Lake during 2020.
“All three of these mines have considerable exploration upside, which we believe will fuel strong growth in mineral reserves.”
Kirkland Lake has extended the Phoenix System down-plunge of the Swan Zone and demonstrated the potential of Robbin’s Hill to be a second mining operation at Fosterville.