Thunderbox, Carosue Dam prop up Saracen’s growth ambitions

Northern Star Resources has awarded GR Engineering Services a $101 million engineering, procurement and construction contract at the Thunderbox gold operations in Western Australia.

Saracen Mineral Holdings has delivered a record March 2019 quarter across all fronts, including costs, gold production and its exploration drilling program.

The company’s year-to-date production of 266,981 ounces at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1032 an ounce are in line with the upwardly revised 2019 financial year guidance of 345,000-365,000 ounces and ahead of the AISC guidance of $1050-1100 an ounce.

Both Carosue Dam and Thunderbox operations in Western Australia led Saracen’s record quarterly gold production of 89,208 ounces, contributing 49,038 and 40,170 ounces respectively.

Thunderbox delivered a record quarter with its AISC falling to $972 ounces as the C Zone open pit mine steadily progresses into higher grade and lower strip ratio ore.

“Our operations are performing extremely well, as shown by the fact that production is comfortably within annual guidance and costs are below guidance,” Saracen managing director Raleigh Finlayson said.

“This combination enabled us to exceed our own forecast for cash generation, with cash and equivalents rising by $11 million to $153 million despite us spending more than $58 million on growth and exploration in the quarter.

“This considerable investment is proving highly successful, as demonstrated by the two recent discoveries in the Carosue Dam corridor and a host of other strong drilling results.

“Given the excellent operating results and the success we are enjoying with the drill rig, we are confident that we are well on track to meet our wider objective of growing production to 400,000 ounces a year while establishing long mine lives.”

Saracen will continue its exploration campaigns across Karari-Dervish ($20 million), Thunderbox ($16 million) and Carosue Dam Corridor ($11 million) over the 2019 financial year.

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