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Kirkland Lake gold production hits record high

Fosterville mine is the largest gold producer in the state of Victoria, Australia – Image courtesy of Kirkland Lake Gold

Canada’s Kirkland Lake Gold (TSX. NYSE: KL) announced Tuesday record gold production for both 2018 and the fourth quarter of the year, thanks mainly to higher-than-expected output at its Australian Fosterville mine as well as its Ontario-based Macassa and Taylor operations.

The Toronto-based miner produced 723,477 ounces of gold last year, a 21% increase from the 596,405 ounces generated in 2017.

The miner has embarked on a growth plan that could see it generate 1-million ounces of gold a year from 2021.

Production in the last three months of 2018 reached 230,993 ounces, 28% higher than the previous record of 180,155 ounces achieved in the previous quarter. The increase was driven by record quarterly production at both Fosterville (124,307 ounces) and Macassa (69,936 ounces) mines, the company said. Taylor, the company’s newest gold mine, contributed 58,633 ounces.

“2018 was an outstanding year for Kirkland Lake Gold,”  President and Chief Executive Officer Tony Makuch said in the statement. “A key part of our progress has been the continued transformation of Fosterville into one of the world’s greatest gold mining operations.”

Makuch noted the company had embarked on a growth plan that could see the Kirland generate 1-million ounces of gold a year from 2021.

For 2019, the miner expects to produce between 740,000 and 800,000 ounces; 850,000 oz to 910,000 ounces next year; and between 945,000 and 1-million ounces in 2021.