Kirkland Lake eyes further growth after record production

Fosterville gold mine in Victoria. Image: Kirkland Lake Gold

Kirkland Lake Gold is ramping up on growth projects at its Macassa and Fosterville gold mines in Canada and Australia.

The Fosterville mine in Victoria sold 432,432 ounces of gold this September quarter, despite several large projects happening on-site.

Kirkland Lake president and chief executive officer Tony Makuch said the new water treatment plant was commissioned at Fosterville during the September quarter and is now in operation.

“Construction of our new paste fill plant is largely finished with commissioning to be completed by the end of the year,” Makuch said.

“Work related to our new ventilation system is continuing and should be completed around year end, with commissioning to follow in early 2020.”

Kirkland Lake expects Fosterville’s production to increase in the final quarter of this year from the 158,327 ounces produced in the September period, thanks to continued improvement in average grades from production in the Swan Zone.

The company is ramping up growth projects globally, spending more than $50 million in the September quarter, including $11.3 million at Fosterville and $33.8 million at Macassa in Canada.

At the Macassa mine, Kirkland Lake started its number four shaft project in the September quarter, which was advanced by more than 180 metres by the start of this month.

Makuch said the phase one of the project was on track to be finished in 2022.

“Full-face sinking at the Macassa number four shaft project commenced during August,” Makuch said.

“Work is progressing well, with the project remaining on track for phase one completion during the second quarter of 2022.”

Despite the work going on at two of Kirkland Lake’s major mines, the company had a record net earnings in the September quarter of $US176.6 million ($256.5 million), more than triple its net earnings for the 2018 September quarter.

Both Fosterville and Macassa had a record production that contributed to a surge in Kirkland Lake’s output, producing 41 per cent more gold for the year to date of 694,873 ounces compared with the same period last year.

Makuch said both Macassa and Fosterville were expected to easily achieve their 2019 full-year guidance of 240,000 to 250,000 ounces and 570,000 to 610,000 ounces respectively. Kirkland Lake is also well positioned to achieve its improved full-year 2019 consolidated production of 950,000 to one million ounces.

The company continued its advanced exploration work in the Northern Territory, where it has over 2000 square kilometres of tenements, with expenditures totalling $43.6 million during the September quarter.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.