Kirkland Lake Gold has reported a surge in gold sales off the back of a record quarter at its Fosterville mine where it achieved “higher than expected grades.”
The company’s ounces sold at the major Victorian gold mine increased 78 per cent to 133,481 ounces for the June quarter against the 75,100 ounces in the corresponding quarter of last year.
Kirkland Lake chief executive officer Tony Makuch said the company was “now positioned to significantly grow production at Fosterville during the second half of the year.”
The company reported it was advancing its key growth projects at Fosterville, including construction of a new ventilation system, paste-fill plant and new water treatment plant.
Fosterville’s water treatment plant is expected to be in operation during the third quarter, with the ventilation and paste-fill projects also targeted for completion during the second half of the year.
Significantly higher gold grades at Fosterville also led to a 50 per cent reduction in operating cash costs per ounce sold at the site, decreasing from $239 per ounce sold in the second quarter of 2018, to $120 in the corresponding quarter this year.
Looking ahead, Kirkland Lake expects production at Fosterville to increase significantly in the second half of 2019 as development advances to depth into the high-grade Swan Zone.
Its exploration in Australia has been a large focus in the 2019, accounting for $66.1 million of exploration expenditure out of a total $72.3 million.
This includes $49.6 million in the Northern Territory and $16.5 million of further exploration occurring at Fosterville.
The company’s exploration in the Northern Territory included increased underground development in support of a potential resumption of operations later this year.