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Detour Lake reaches record production targets

Q4 of 2018 marked best ever quarterly production at gold mine
Detour Lake gold mine reached two new production records in 2018. (Detour photo)

Detour Lake gold mine hit two new production records in 2018.

According to preliminary figures released on Jan. 15 by parent company Detour Gold, the mine reached record production for the fourth quarter of 2018, and record production for all of 2018.

Highlights of the year include:

  • gold production of 621,128 ounces for the year, above the mid-point of the annual guidance;
  • gold production of 158,200 ounces for the fourth quarter, representing best ever quarterly production;
  • annual average mill throughput of 56,594 tonnes per day and fourth-quarter average of 60,300 tonnes per day; 
  • annual mining rate of 287,000 tonnes per day and fourth-quarter mining rate of 305,000 tonnes per day; and
  • year-end cash and cash equivalents of approximately $132 million.

The company said it also finished the year with more than four million hours without a lost-time incident.

"We surpassed our production target for 2018 with a strong finish to the year. The fourth quarter represented our third successive quarter with overall operational improvement with record total tonnes mined and gold production,” Detour’s COO, Frazer Bourchier, said in a Jan. 15 news release.

“Looking ahead, we will remain focused on continuing the momentum in making operational efficiency gains while reducing unit costs to meet our targets for 2019 and beyond.”

The news comes following a recent shakeup amongst the company’s board of directors, which resulted in most of the directors being replaced with new members.

Citing an ongoing lack of transparency and accountability by the board, Paulson & Co. Inc., an American investment management firm and one of the company’s largest shareholders, urged for change during a special shareholders meeting in mid-December.

Vote results ousted most of the board’s existing members, replacing them with Paulson-approved members instead, along with the company’s interim CEO, Michael Kenyon. A search continues for a new, permanent CEO.

Detour Lake gold mine is located within the Abitibi Greenstone Belt, 300 kilometres northeast of Timmins.

It has a life of approximately 23 years with an average gold production of 659,000 ounces per year, and includes the development of the West Detour project, which is currently being permitted.