Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd. reported exceptional all-round performance for the June quarter, which saw it post record gold production, achieve its goal of doubling annualized production to 300,000 ounces (oz) and deliver some impressive exploration results. Production for the June quarter was up 23% on the previous quarter at 79,985 oz, a record for the company, which is above the run-rate required to achieve its 300,000-oz-per-year (oz/y) production target.
This strong performance, which was largely driven by rising mine grades, saw a 25% reduction in all-in sustaining costs to A$1,127/oz ($889/oz), helping to drive a strong financial performance for the quarter.
Gold sales of 78,534 oz underpinned revenues of $127.3 million, allowing Saracen to grow its cash and equivalents position to $45.2 million at quarter-end (up from $30.6 million last quarter). This was after making significant investments in the company’s future growth, including $24.6 million on growth capital and exploration, $4.3 million to repay all finance leases, and $2.7 million reflecting the early payment to St. Barbara Ltd. of the final installment for the Kailis acquisition.
“Saracen has now cemented its position in the ranks of Australia’s leading midtier gold producers, with a production profile and growth outlook over the next few years, which puts us in an enviable position in the ASX-listed gold sector,” said Saracen Managing Director Raleigh Finlayson. “During the quarter, we began to reap the rewards of our substantial recent investments in growth. At Carosue Dam, the investment in twin declines at the Karari underground mine is now paying off with multiple stoping fronts established, helping to drive an increase in mine production and grade.
Mill throughput and recoveries increased at Thunderbox because of improvements made to the plant and a higher grade feed. Both of these drove record gold production, Finlayson said.
“Recent drilling at the Karari underground mine at Carosue Dam is beginning to show the true potential of this large and growing gold system, while at Thunderbox drilling has extended the thick A Zone mineralization at depth, highlighting the potential for a multiyear underground mine,” Finlayson said.