Saracen thunders to record December production

Thunderbox open pit mine. Image: Saracen Minerals

Saracen Mineral Holdings has “entered the next league of Australian gold miners” after a record December 2019 quarter, according to company managing director Raleigh Finlayson.

The company experienced record quarterly gold production as a whole, with 120,127 ounces at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1098 per ounce.

Saracen also produced a record 46,594 ounces at the Thunderbox mine in the Goldfields region of Western Australia for the quarter, as its C Zone open pit mine delivered higher grade and lower strip ratio ore as planned.

Its other Western Australian-based mine, Carosue Dam also snuck above its September quarterly results of 50,600 ounces at $1234 an ounce, producing 52,900 ounces at an AISC of $1231 an ounce during the December period.

Saracen has also finalised its acquisition of Barrick’s 50 per cent stake in the Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) for $US750 million ($1.1 billion).

The company contributed an extra 20,634 ounces to KCGM’s total quarterly production.

“The outstanding performance of our Carosue Dam and Thunderbox operations, complemented by the first-up contribution from KCGM, demonstrates the significant new scale of our production and cashflow generation,” Finlayson said.

“Saracen has now annualised production exceeding 600,000 ounces, long mine lives underpinned by established inventories and extensive scope for ongoing organic growth.”

The company and its KCGM joint venture (JV) partner Northern Star Resources have agreed to a joint operatorship model, combining Saracen’s open pit mining capabilities with Northern Star’s background in underground mining.

The two companies have also established an executive management committee and initiated a strategic review covering operations, exploration and growth for the Super Pit.

Finlayson plans to dedicate a “meaningful share of his time” to KCGM during its initial integration phase, while still ensuring Thunderbox and Carosue Dam retain sufficient management, according to Saracen.

“The delivery of consistent production results at Carosue Dam and Thunderbox remains a priority after a seven-year track record of meeting or beating guidance,” Saracen concluded.

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