Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. (announced record levels of quarterly and annual gold production for the fourth quarter and full-year respectively. Production in Q4 2018 totaled 230,993 oz, 28% higher than the previous record of 180,155 oz achieved in the third quarter of 2018. That was also significantly above target levels for the quarter and was driven by record quarterly production at both Fosterville (124,307 oz) and Macassa (69,936 oz).
Kirkland Lake’s gold production for 2018 totaled 723,477 oz, a 21% increase from 596,405 oz for 2017. Three of the company’s mines achieved record annual production in 2018, including 356,230 oz at Fosterville, 240,126 oz at Macassa and 58,633 oz at the Taylor mine, with the Holt mine producing 67,770 oz for the year.
“2018 was an outstanding year for us,” said Tony Makuch, president and CEO of Kirkland Lake Gold. “We achieved record production levels 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.”
A key part of the company’s progress has been the continued transformation of Fosterville into one of the world’s great 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,” Makuch said.
Turning to Macassa, Makuch explained that grade performance in the South Mine Complex has been excellent, with many stopes outperforming in Q4 2018. “Our operations team continues to perform very well in moving our production profile to the deeper, high-grade parts of the mine,” Makuch said. “Macassa is a very solid, consistent operation that is poised to achieve substantial production growth once our new No. 4 Shaft is completed, with Phase 1 completion on track for early 2022.”
In addition, Kirkland Lake had record production at Taylor in Q4 2018, reflecting both improved tonnage and higher grades, and Holt also turned in a solid performance, Makuch explained. “Entering 2019, we are well positioned for continued growth, with three-year production guidance including 740,000 – 800,000 oz in 2019, 850,000 – 910,000 oz in 2020 and 945,000 – 1,005,000 oz in 2021,” Makuch said.