Kirkland Lake poised to become 1Moz gold producer in 2021

Victorian Resources

The high-grade Fosterville gold mine in Victoria. Image: Kirkland Lake Gold

Kirkland Lake Gold has continued to experience success at the Fosterville mine in Victoria, with a greater amount of high-grade quartz-veins than it previously estimated.

The Canadian company’s results from infill drilling in Swan Zone have been determined as “the main driver of the mine’s substantial outperformance during the [fourth quarter of 2018].”

These include intercepts of exceptional high-grades, substantial widths and more visible gold than expected, Kirkland Lake revealed.

The results come as Kirkland Lake embarks on a growth program to produce one million ounces of gold a year from 2021.

According to Kirkland Lake president Tony Makuch, the company is working to transform Fosterville “into one of the world’s greatest gold mining operations.”

During the fourth quarter of 2018, production at Fosterville totalled 124,307 ounces, a 37 per cent increase on the 90,168 ounces it achieved during the previous quarter.

This production growth reflected an average grade of 39.7 grams per tonne – the highest ever quarterly return at Fosterville – far exceeding target levels for the quarter.

Two Swan Zone stopes have also been added to Fosterville’s mine plan, which contributed to higher levels of production.

Makuch said 2018 was an outstanding year for Kirkland Lake, with production of 723,477 ounces.

“Entering 2019, we are well positioned for continued growth, with three-year production guidance including 740,000–800,000 ounces in 2019, 850,000–910,000 ounces in 2020 and 945,000–1,005,000 ounces in 2021,” Makuch said.

Kirkland Lake maintained its record-breaking streak across the company in the fourth quarter, producing 230,993 ounces, which surpasses its previous record in the third quarter of 2018 by 28 per cent.

Its production at Macassa in Canada climbed 26 per cent on the third quarter to 69,936 ounces as the team moved production to the deeper, high-grade parts of the operation.

Kirkland Lake expects to complete Macassa’s shaft number four soon, with the first phase on track for completion in early 2022.

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