Kirkland Lake Gold produces record 723,000 ounces, shares rise 6pc
Triple-listed gold miner Kirkland Lake Gold produced record levels of gold in 2018, with nearly one-third of it coming in the final quarter alone.
Kirkland (ASX:KLA) shares rose nearly seven per cent on the news, jumping $2.35 to $38 a share, just short of the all-time high of $40.10 it hit last week.
The company produced 723,477 ounces of gold in 2018, or nearly 21 tonnes, with 230,993 ounces of that (6.5 tonnes) coming in Q4.
That beat forecast expectations of more than 670,000 ounces of gold.
These figures represented 21pc and 28pc increases on the prior corresponding periods respectively.
Kirkland says it was driven by record quarterly production at its Fosterville mine just outside of Bendigo and its Macassa mine in eastern Canada.
The company also poured over 20 tonnes of gold for the year.
Tony Makuch, KLA chief, reflected on his company’s “outstanding” year and outlined bullish predictions for the next few years.
“We achieved record production of 723,477 ounces and, just as important, embarked on a program of growth that could see the Company achieve a million ounces of annual, low-cost gold production as early as 2021,” he said.
“A key part of our progress has been the continued transformation of Fosterville into one of the world’s greatest gold mining operations. As clearly demonstrated in Q4 2018, we continue to see much greater levels of high-grade quartz-veins with visible gold at Fosterville than had previously been estimated, which was the main driver of the mine’s substantial outperformance during the quarter and is a key reason why we expect a significant increase in Swan Zone Mineral Reserves.
“Turning to Macassa, our grade performance in the South Mine Complex has been excellent, with many stopes outperforming in Q4 2018, and our operations team continuing to perform very well in moving our production profile to the deeper, high-grade parts of the mine.
“In addition, we had record production at Taylor in Q4 2018, reflecting both improved tonnage and higher grades, and also turned in a solid performance at Holt. Entering 2019, we are well positioned for continued growth, with three-year production guidance including 740,000 – 800,000 ounces in 2019, 850,000 – 910,000 ounces in 2020 and 945,000 – 1,005,000 ounces in 2021.”