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Rains can’t keep Capricorn down

Capricorn mine Karlawinda

Capricorn Metals’ Karlawinda gold project in Western Australia has proved rock-solid as it delivered strong gold production despite nearly 300mm of rain staunching operations.

The company welcomed a healthy 26,017 ounces (oz) of gold for the March quarter from the project, leading to a total 86,116oz over the past nine months.

The production is directly in line with Capricorn’s expectations, after the miner adjusted its outlook when rains took hold earlier in the year.

The company’s cash and gold on hand at the end of March was $177.8 million, reflecting a $9.9 million payment for Capricorn’s accommodation village at its Mount Gibson gold project in WA.

This brought Capricorn’s total cash build to $27.6 million for the quarter, a slight decrease from the $28.2 million it held at the end of the December quarter.

Capricorn executive chair Mark Clark welcomed the results, acknowledging the impact of the unexpected downpour.

“It was a challenging quarter at the KGP with significant rainfall impacting mining operations and gold production,” he said.

“However, it was pleasing that despite these impacts the operation delivered a cash and gold build of $27.6 million for the quarter before the discretionary capital spend at Mt Gibson.”

Post rainfall ramp up to required volumes is in progress at Karlawinda but residual effects are expected in the June 2024 quarter.

Gold production is expected to be in the range of 26,000–29,000oz resulting in an annual production of 112,000–115,000oz, down from the original 115,000–125,000oz guidance.

Capricorn continues to work with mining contractor MACA to achieve delivery of the open pit material movements budgeted in the mining schedule for the June 2024 quarter.

The company previously said MACA has been unable to deliver on the material movements budgeted for the quarter.

But Clark remained optimistic in the company’s recuperation.

“The residual effects on mining productivity are still being felt and will be our key operational focus in the June quarter to set the project up for a strong operational performance in FY25,” Clark said.

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