Posting a strong result for quarter four, Norton Fold Fields has exceeded its 2013 production guidance.
Producing 42,616 ounces of gold in the December quarter, Norton’s year to date gold production of 172,739 ounces is already 13.4 per cent higher than 2012’s results.
In 2013 the company set a production guidance of between 163,000 and 167,000 ounces.
Norton Gold Fields managing director and CEO Dianmin Chen said the strong results were driven by efficiency gains and cost reduction programs run across its operations over the past 12 months.
“Driving the improvement has been increased mill feed grades from across our operations along with a strict cost control regime,” Chen said.
Thanking the company’s employees, Chen said achieving these results during a challenging gold market is especially pleasing.
“2013 was an environment of falling gold prices which saw many WA mid-tier gold mining companies become unprofitable,” he said.
“Norton’s strong management group was successful in adapting our business to this threat and as a result Norton has become a disciplined and profitable gold mining company for its many stakeholders.”
In the three months to December the company’s total cash cost was $1,188 per ounce, falling from $1,784 per ounce recorded in the previous corresponding period.
Located in Kalgoorlie, Norton’s key operation Paddington produced 43,753 ounces of gold at a cash cost of $883 per ounce in the December quarter.
“Strict cost control, increased production and significant capital investment in new equipment has seen costs reduce from a high of $1,543 per ounce in December 2012 quarter,” the company stated.
Norton said it is continuing to consider its options for the Mount Morgan project in Queensland, noting divestment isn’t off the table.
Last October the company sold off its Norton Gold mine, located 100 kilometres south west of Gladstone, with Mantle Mining acquiring the asset for a total consideration of $300,000 cash at completion, less a 10 per cent upfront deposit.