Gold royalty offsets Fosterville cost improvement

Mound of gold on a old wooden work table

Kirkland Lake Gold has felt the impact of Victoria’s gold royalty, with its all-in sustaining costs at the Fosterville mine increasing by 7 per cent during 2020.

Its ASIC per ounce sold jumped from $US291 ($369) in the 2019 fiscal year period to $US312 in the next corresponding period.

This represents a $US30.5 million contribution to the 2.75 per cent royalty introduced by the Victorian Government in January last year.

Kirkland stated excluding the royalty, its AISC at Fosterville improved by 9 per cent from the 2019 financial year level.

This was driven by lower capital expenditures as development work was suspended and equipment procurement was reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kirkland Lake president Tony Makuch said 2020 would go down as a year that no one would ever forget.

“At the same time that we were focussing on protecting our people, we also turned in our best year ever, achieving record levels of production, earnings and cash flows and meeting all of our consolidated (2020 financial year) guidance,” Makuch said.

“In (the fourth quarter of) 2020, we had our best quarter of the year, achieving record quarterly production and earnings, with all three operations reaching their highest production levels of 2020.

“Obviously, the high gold price environment was a key factor for both the full year and (the fourth quarter), but so was the hard work of a lot of people at our company.”

Kirkland Lake reported record production of 640,467 ounces of gold at Fosterville in the 2020 financial year.

The company also received a 40 per cent boost in cash flow from the acquisition of the Detour Lake mine in Canada from Detour Gold in January last year.

In the Northern Territory, Kirkland has continued with its $US60-65 million water rehabilitation program after declaring its assets in the state as non-core.

The company aims to restore around 360 hectares to grazing land quality, remove waste rock dumps and fill existing open pits.

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