Saracen on track to ramp up annual production to 400,000oz

Thunderbox open pit mine. Image: Saracen Minerals

Saracen Minerals is confident of achieving its gold production guidance after delivering another quarterly record.

The miner posted 88,940 ounces (oz) of gold in the September quarter, putting it on track to reach its target of up to 345,000oz in the 2019 financial year.

Its Carosue Dam and Thunderbox mines in Western Australia contributed 51,753oz and 37,187oz to the figure respectively, with 63,409oz more gold awaiting processing.

The achievement stemmed from record group mill throughput and higher ore grades across all sources.

Saracen’s cash and equivalents rose to $131 million, up from $118.3 million on June 30. It also delivered quarterly sales of 86,623oz at an average sale price of $1640/oz for revenues of $142 million.

Managing director Raleigh Finlayson said, “This performance demonstrates that we are continuing to meet our growth objectives on every front.

“We recently increased our financial year 2019 production guidance, and these results are perfectly in line with the budgets underpinning it.”

Saracen has posted an increased 2019 financial year production guidance of 325,000–345,000oz at a production cost of $1050–1100, following its record production in the 2018 financial year.

This September quarter also saw Saracen spend only $9.9 million of its $60 million exploration budget this financial year, as the bulk of expenditure will be spent in the second half of the year.

Raleigh said, “We are now ramping up our $60 million exploration program for this financial year. This is aimed at further increasing our inventory, which will in turn underpin the drive towards our target of 400,000oz a year.

“The upshot of this is we are on track to deliver increased production and free cashflow this financial year, while investing in the exploration and development strategy which will drive growth beyond then.”

Saracen has also brought its lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) down from 1.0 in the quarter ending in June this year to 0.4 this quarter, compared to the Western Australian gold mining industry average of 2.1.

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