FOSTERVILLE'S gold production fell by a third last quarter but miners still found more of the precious metal than expected.
Company Kirkland Lake Gold's central Victorian mine produced 108,679 ounces between January and march 2021.
It was well down on the 159,864 ounces found a quarter earlier but the company was still happy to have found more than it had targeted.
The Fosterville mine is entering a period of lower hauls after diggers worked their way through high-value veins of underground rock.
Kirkland Lake Gold has told investors that the quarter's production rates were better than hoped because the gold miners found was of a higher grade than anticipated.
Miners have focused on sections of the mine that they know hold lower-grade gold deposits.
They want to stretch out the mine's life while they sink exploration drills in search of other veins of gold nearby in a strategy to save the most profitable lodes for as long as possible.
The company was pleased with its production results despite the drop in production at Fosterville and its Canadian mines, chief executive Tony Makuch said.
"Q1 2021 is expected to be the lowest production quarter of the year with all three of our cornerstone assets being in low-grade cycles during this period," he said in a statement to investors.
Mr Makuch said the company was working on "extensive" drilling programs at those mines and that results from its Detour Lakes, Canada mine had shown particular promise.
"As we emerge from Q1, we are on track to achieve our full-year 2021 production guidance and are poised to have three strong quarters over the balance of the year," he said.
Elsewhere, Costerfield's gold and antimony miners have been digging into some of its best lodes.
Mine owner Mandalay Resources is yet to release its first quarter results for 2021 but has been riding high after making the so-called "Youle Deposit" their primary focus in 2020.
"We expect to see continued high gold grades at Costerfield over the course of 2021," chief executive Dominic Duffy said in February.
"This was done while also increasing the Mineral Reserves and mine life of the operation with the ramped-up exploration program carried out over 2020."
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