While Australian gold prices continue to hover near record levels, at least one local gold producer has trimmed its production forecast due to travel restrictions imposed to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) has flagged that the prospect of further restrictions on the movement of workers and suppliers in Western Australia and Alaska will result in a 10 to 15 per cent decline in March-quarter production.

This prompted it to withdraw its production and cost guidance for the 2020 financial year, saying the uncertain outlook meant it couldn’t provide assurances about production levels in the June quarter.

The company’s warning comes amid reports that despite strong gold prices, efforts to contain the virus has resulted in three of the world’s largest gold refineries in Switzerland suspending production for at least a week.

Despite this, explorers are still pushing ahead with their activities.

Kin Mining (ASX:KIN) has logged more near-surface, high-grade hits after receiving final assay results from 1m split samples generated from aircore drilling at the Comedy King prospect at the Cardinia project near Leonora, Western Australia.

Notable results are 3m at 5.45 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from 5m including 1m at 11.1g/t gold from 6m and 2m at 6.7g/t gold from 5m including 1m at 12.2g/t from 5m.

Results above 5g/t gold are generally considered to be high-grade.


Kin said the new results highlighted intervals with several high-grade zones of mineralisation associated with quartz sulphide veins surrounded by lower grade mineralisation.

Further results from the re-assaying of samples from the Lewis East and Lewis West prospects are expected in the coming weeks.

The 1m split samples allow for better definition of mineralised zones than the usual 4m composite samples.

Kin added that while measures had been taken to ensure the health and safety of all staff and contractors, follow-up drilling was continuing as planned with an aircore rig currently operating on site and reverse circulation drilling starting this week.

Meanwhile, Golden Mile Resources’ (ASX:G88) recently completed a drilling program at the Wildcat prospect at its Leonora East project that intersected a number of mineralised zones beneath exploration drill holes and historical workings.

This included a top hit of 1m at 5.12g/t gold within a broader 2m intercept grading 2.86g/t gold.


The company said the results indicated the gold mineralised structure at Wildcat extended down-dip.

It will now review the results before carrying out any follow-up work and will also advance exploration on other targets in the area with the goal of making a new gold discovery.