Northern Star posts solid production results

Northern Star Resources is debt free and on track to meet its full-year production guidance.

The company’s five WA mines produced 131,169oz in the March quarter at an average all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1172 an ounce.

Gold sold for the nine months to March 2015 was 428,338oz at an AISC of $1,093/oz (including a $49/oz rehabilitation liability and a $15/oz gold inventory accounting adjustment, both non-cash items), in line with guidance.

The average realised gold price for the March Quarter was $1,500/oz and $1,437/oz for the nine months.

Underlying free cash flow generation was $24 million in the March Quarter and $131 million for the nine months. The free cash flow is after $9m of accelerated exploration expenditure and $17m of taxation.

Bank debt was reduced by a further $15 million to $20 million during the Quarter and on 13 April 2015, all outstanding bank debt was repaid, though Northern Star has retained an undrawn $100 million revolver facility.

Northern Star maintained its full-year production guidance of between 550 000 oz and 600 000 oz.

Last year, Northern Star went on a buying spree, picking up Jundee, Plutonic, Kundana and Kanowna Belle mines.

Not satisfied to rest on its newly acquired assets, exploration is still a major part of the company’s strategy, with $50 million put away to find new deposits.

The company says the exploration is generating good results, with resource upgrades at its Jundee project rising by y 299koz to 1.15Moz.

At its Pegasus project near Kalgoorlie Resources increased by 350koz to 1.1Moz at 11.6gpt

Northern Star Managing Director Bill Beament said the combination of strong cashflow, no debt and a diversified asset base meant the company had the ability to undertake value accretive acquisitions.

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