Bulked up Kirkland Lake production jumps 18%

Truck maintenance at Detour Lake. Image from Kirkland Lake Gold.

In the first quarter of this year, Kirkland Lake Gold produced 330,864 oz. of gold, an 18% increase from 279,742 oz. generated in the prior quarter, largely driven by a contribution from the Detour open pit in Ontario, following closing of company’s acquisition of Detour Gold at the end of January.

The Detour mine contributed 91,555 oz. in the quarter, while Fosterville in Australia continued to deliver the most ounces for the company, churning out 159,864 oz. at an average head grade of 42.4 g/t gold.

The Detour mine contributed 91,555 oz. in the quarter

Macassa’s output of 50,861 oz. was a 10% decrease over the 56,379 oz. produced in the fourth quarter of last year, largely due to lower mill throughputs from disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Due to the threat of covi-19, Kirkland Lake is operating the Detour Lake and Macassa mines in Ontario at reduced levels until the end of April, while Fosterville continues to run at full capacity, with health and safety protocols in place.

Operations at the Holt Complex, the company’s smallest ounce generator, have been suspended until the end of this month.

“We increased production year over year, even before adding in the contribution from Detour Lake mine since January 31, 2020. Production growth was once again driven by Fosterville, where we continue to achieve strong grade performance from the Swan Zone,” Tony Makuch, the company’s president and CEO, said in a release.

Makuch added that exploration drilling across the company’s sites has been suspended as part of its covid-19 protocols. Kirkland Lake plans to drill at Fosterville, Macassa and Detour Lake later this year to grow its reserve inventory.

Since adding Detour Lake to its asset portfolio, Kirkland Lake has been working to update the resource model, optimize drilling and blasting, evaluate alternative mine plans and improve operations at the site.

The company closed out the quarter with C$530 million of cash and no debt.

The company’s stock traded up 6% on Thursday on the NYSE. Kirkland Lake’s market value is $10.2 billion.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

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