Northern Star Resources is increasing open pit mining at the Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) operations in Western Australia after delivering a 72 million tonne per annum production rate during the September quarter.
KCGM is part of Northern Star’s Kalgoorlie production centre, which also includes the Carosue Dam and Kalgoorlie Operations.
The Kalgoorlie production centre sold 232,324 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of $1533 per ounce.
Northern Star also increased underground mined tonnes at KCGM by 17 per cent.
The company sold a total 386,160 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1594 per ounce.
Northern Star recorded higher costs in the September quarter after the Pogo operations in Alaska suffered 24 days downtime due to tie-in and commissioning works to upgrade the processing plant’s throughout capacity from one million to 1.3 million tonnes per annum.
“We seized the chance to complete other major works, including replacing the primary conveyor belt that transports ore from underground to the processing plant,” Northern Star chief executive officer Stuart Tonkin said.
“This resulted in 24 days total downtime, which reduced throughput and gold production, in turn increasing costs per ounce.
“This work is now finished and we expect to see a significant benefit for both production and costs from the December quarter onwards. The mill bottlenecks have been removed and throughput is increasing in line with expectations for 2022 financial year guidance.”
According to Northern Star, it’s 1.55 to 1.65 million ounce guidance is weighted towards the second half of the 2021-22 financial year period.
“This is a solid start to the new financial year and puts us on track to meet our 2021-22 financial year guidance,” Tonkin said.
“At the same time, we made strong progress on our development projects in line with our strategy to be a 2Moz a year producer by the 2025-26 financial year.
“With solid production, and costs running slightly above guidance, cash earnings were strong.
“With production, costs and earnings planned to improve as the 2022 financial year progresses, we are very well positioned to continue to invest capital into those projects which generate the strongest returns.”