Kirkland production exceeds expectations, again

Victorian minerals

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

Kirkland Lake Gold has achieved record annual and quarterly production for 2021 and its fourth quarter, as the Fosterville gold mine smashed original targets in Victoria.

The Canadian miner produced 1,432,616 ounces of gold in 2021, exceeding its original target of 1.3 million to 1.4 million ounces and its improved target from November 3 of 1.35 million to 1.4 million ounces.

The company’s full-year production was 5 per cent higher than its result in 2020 of 1,369,652 ounces of gold.

Kirkland Lake president and chief executive officer Tony Makuch said the record was the result of strong production across the company’s portfolio in Australia and Canada.

“We finished 2021 with a record quarter of performance, driven by record production at Detour Lake, a strong finish to the year at Macassa and higher than planned production at Fosterville as the mine continued to achieve favourable grade performance,” Makuch said.

Fosterville produced 509,601 ounces of gold in 2021, significantly higher than its original target of 400,000 to 425,000 ounces and still higher than its November 3 guidance of 500,000 ounces.

In 2021, Fosterville processed 677,899 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 23.7 grams of gold per tonne.

Kirkland Lake managed a record second quarter of 2021 after mine resequencing and higher gold grades pushed quarterly production to 379,195 ounces – a 15 per cent increase on the previous June quarter and 25 per cent more than the March quarter of 2021.

Kirkland Lake is looking to expand its presence in Victoria, having won three blocks of the North Central Victorian Goldfields ground release.

The company plans to spend more than $90 million on exploration across hundreds of square kilometres.

The Geological Survey of Victoria estimates there may be as much as 75 million ounces of undiscovered gold across northern Victoria, potentially bringing a boom to the region.

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