Northern Star achieves golden records amid COVID-19 challenges

Northern Star Resources has defied the impact of COVID-19 to finish the 2020 financial year with record gold sales on the back of its Australian operations.

The company hit 900,388 ounces of gold sales at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1496 per ounce.

Of this record figure, 727,352 ounces were from the company’s Australian operations, also a record and within the 720,000 to 800,000 ounces guidance.

This included a breakdown of 379,506 ounces mined and 294,279 ounces sold from the Jundee gold mine in Western Australia for the financial year, 330,225 ounces mined and 317,248 ounces sold from the Kalgoorlie operations and 74,226 ounces mined and 115,825 ounces sold from the Super Pit.

The records kept flowing in for Northern Star, with the Australian gold miner also hitting a quarterly sales record for the June quarter of 262,717 ounces at an AISC of $1475 per ounce.

This comprised 212,466 ounces from Northern Star’s Australian operations, including its 50 per cent stake in the Super Pit via Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM).

Junee contributed 102,198 ounces, 77,788 ounces of which was sold, 83,720 ounces mined and 79,057 ounces sold from Kalgoorlie and 32,564 mined and 55,621 ounces sold from the Super Pit.

Northern Star executive chairman Bill Beament said the company achieving these records under the challenges of COVID-19 highlighted its “enviable outlook”.

“Our quarterly sales of 262,717 ounces was not only a record but also very solid given the imposts stemming from the COVID-19 measures we moved quickly to put in place,” Beament said.

“AISC were restricted to $1475 per ounce despite the impact of these measures and therefore margins were robust given the average selling price of $2487 per ounce. As a result, underlying free cashflow was a record $218 million.

“All together, this demonstrates the significant potential to grow our free cashflow as the impacts of COVID-19 on production and costs are alleviated and importantly, our exposure to the spot gold price increases.”

Looking ahead, Northern Star completed underground drilling at the Jundee underground project, focussing on the northern portion of the mine corridor.

This drilling unearthed “strong results” in the Revelation and Deakin areas and encouraging results from the Invicta Gap and Cook-Griffin prospects in the southern area of the mine.

The company also drilled at Mount Charlotte, near the Super Pit targeting the Hidden Secret, Kal East and Belgravia areas.

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