Saracen operational performance marred by accident

Saracen Mineral Holdings has surpassed its production guidance for the 2020 financial year.

The gold miner produced 520,414 ounces, ahead of the 500,000-plus ounces guidance at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1101 an ounce.

Saracen managing director Raleigh Finlayson said the company’s performance had been overshadowed by last week’s tragedy at the Carosue Dam mine in Western Australia.

An early investigation showed that an underground worker appeared to have fallen from height at the Dervish gold mine at the Carosue Dam operations. The worker passed away last week.

“Saracen expresses its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the late person,” Finlayson said.

“A full investigation by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety is underway. Saracen is fully committed to establishing the events leading up to the accident.”

Saracen produced 145,830 ounces of gold at an AISC of $1,152 per ounce in the June quarter.

Quarterly production at the Thunderbox mine was 42,117 ounces of gold, which was down from the March quarter’s record production of 50,091 ounces, while Carosue Dam produced 50,315 ounces of gold.

Saracen’s gold sales were also down for the quarter at 148,011 ounces at an average price of $2,280 per ounce. In the March quarter, Saracen sold 165,798 ounces at a record average price of $2,228 per ounce.

With 1.7 million ounces in ore stockpiles, Saracen is hoping to “insulate the business” and future-proof its operations against COVID-19 impacts.

Saracen’s production guidance for the 2021 financial year remains at more than 600,000 ounces.

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