The company behind the Fosterville gold mine has credited an increase in production and grade with delivering its most profitable quarter to date.
Kirkland Lake Gold president and chief executive officer Tony Makuch said production at the Fosterville mine increased by almost 70,000 ounces in the third quarter of 2019 from the same quarter last year.
He said this reflected a 75 per cent improvement in the average grade, to 41.8 grams of gold per tonne.
"Grades of this level are rarely seen in our industry and resulted from the ramp up in production of the high-grade Swan zone," Mr Makuch said.
He said the first stope in the Swan zone was mined last year and this quarter 11 stopes in that zone were mined, which accounted for about 94 per cent of the more than 158,000 ounces produced.
"Substantially higher grades resulted in further improvement in unit costs which, combined with rising gold prices, led to significant margin expansion at Fosterville during the quarter," he said.
The company's revenue for this quarter was up 71 per cent on the same quarter in 2018, with a 39 per cent increase in gold sales.
This increase was credited to higher grades and increased mills through the Fosterville mine, which alone saw a 73 per cent increase in gold sales on the same quarter in 2018 and 25 per cent on last quarter.
On a year-to-date basis, Fosterville's gold sales have increased by 85 per cent from 2018 to 2019.
Production at Fosterville is expected to continue to increase into the last quarter, with the total production for the year forecast to reach 570,000 to 610,000 ounces of gold.
Mr Makuch said key growth projects at the site were also finished or nearing completion during the last quarter.
A new water treatment plant was in use, while the paste fill plant was almost finished.
Mr Makuch said work on the new ventilation system was also expected to wrap up by the end of the year.
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