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Kirkland Lake Gold boasts record second quarter of production

Massive exploration drilling at Detour Lake should lengthen mine's longevity
Kirkland Lake Gold Macassa Shaft No. 3
Macassa Mine, Shaft No. 3 (Kirkland Lake Gold photo)

Kirkland Lake Gold is sitting pretty to reach its 2020 gold production targets, thanks to a record second quarter.

In a July 12 news release, the Toronto gold miner said, collectively, its three operations at Macassa in Kirkland Lake; Detour Lake, north of Cochrane, and Fosterville in Australia, produced a total of 379,195 ounces, up 15 per cent from the same quarter last year and up 25 per cent from the first quarter this year.

Gold sales reached an average realized price of $1,814 per ounce.

Up to the midway point of 2021, production totalled 682,042 ounces, a 3 per cent increase from the first half of 2020, reflecting higher production at Detour Lake and Macassa.

Macassa production for the quarter was 55,322 ounces, 32 per per cent from the same period last year and up 17 per cent from the first quarter of this year.

Construction continues of the No. 4 Shaft at Macassa. The company said the development in a month ahead of schedule, reaching a depth of 5,600 feet at the end of June. The project is on track to be completed by late 2022.

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Detour Lake posted a record quarterly production of 165,880 ounces, up 26 per cent from the same period in 2020 and 13 per cent higher than 146,731 ounces produced during the first quarter this year. The company acquired Detour Lake in January 2020 for $4.9 billion.

At Detour, the company is in the middle of a massive 270,000-metre drilling exploration program of the Saddle Zone, an underexplored area situated between the currently mined Main Pit and the planned West Pit, which has no calculated mineral reserves. When the drilling is complete at year's end, a new life-of-mine production plan for Detour will be made public in the first half of next year.

In a July 12 statement, Kirkland Lake Gold president-CEO Tony Makuch said this record production sets them up nicely to achieve their company-wide 2021 goal of finishing in the higher end of the 1,300,000 to 1,400,000-ounce guidance range. All three mines were on track to reach their full-year guidance targets.

"At Detour Lake, we achieved record production driven by increased mill throughput and a significant improvement in grade, with the average grade of 0.96 (grams per tonne) in line with the current Mineral Reserve grade for the operation," said Makuch.

"Improved results at Macassa reflected increased processing rates, to an average of just under 1,000 tpd, as well as higher than expected grades. Both Detour Lake and Macassa are targeting further improvement in average grades over the balance of the year."