reports

A number of Australian mine operators have released activity reports for the fourth quarter of 2022-23. 

Northern Star

Northern Star generated strong quarterly and full year underlying free cash flow from its operations, with Kalgoorlie contributing more than half of the company’s performance. 

The company reported an LTIFR of one injury per million hours worked over the previous 12 months. 

Northern Star also entered into a Power Purchase Agreement for the Jundee renewable energy project. 

The company sold gold totaling 426koz at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1,700/oz and all-in cost (AIC) of A$2,208/oz.  

Its June quarter performance by production centre was broken down as follows:

  • Kalgoorlie: 224,368oz gold sold at an AISC of A$1,666/oz 
  • Yandal: 121,872oz gold sold at an AISC of A$1,647/oz
  • Pogo: 80,029oz gold sold at an AISC of US$1,254/oz  

As of the June quarter, Northern Star achieved a 12-month production rate of 1.7Mozpa.

The company’s operations at Pogo achieved record quarterly performance, going above its growth objective of 300kozpa of gold sold.

Northern Star Managing Director, Stuart Tonkin, said he was proud of the Northern Star team for safely delivering its commitments in 2022-23. 

“We finished the year with increasing operational momentum, meeting our full year production and cost guidance. As we look ahead to 2023-24 and beyond, the quarterly performance reinforces the strength and stability of Northern Star’s asset base.”

Evolution Mining

Evolution mining also released its quarterly report, which included record annual production at its Cowal operations of 276koz with a further ~15 per cent increase expected in 2023-24.

The Ernest Henry production returned to full capacity by the end of June after a major weather event disrupted operations in March. Additionally, a Mine Extension Pre-Feasibility Study anticipates the extension of the mine’s life to at least 2040.

New drilling results at Ernest Henry have also confirmed extensions to mineralisation, doubling the previous estimate to 77.4 million tonnes, contained copper of 589,000t and contained gold of 1.1 million ounces. 

The Mungari mill expansion project reached approval, which will extend the mine’s life to 2038 and is expected to increase production to approximately 200kozpa average for at least the first five years.

Evolution Mining’s CEO and Managing Director, Lawrie Conway, said, “As we move into 2023-24, we have a strong pipeline of quality projects that will drive increased margins and extend the mine life of our assets. This includes the drilling results released today which further enhance the Ernest Henry mine extension project, and are expected to drive further growth of the mineral resource.”

AngloAmerican

AngloAmerican released its quarterly highlights as well, reporting that De Beers and the Government of Botswana reached an agreement in principle on a new ten-year sales agreement for Debswana’s rough diamond production (through to 2033) and a 25-year extension of the Debswana mining licences (through to 2054).

The company’s copper production increased by 56 per cent, reflecting the ramp-up to commercial production levels of its new Quellaveco mine in Peru.

Steelmaking coal production increased by 28 per cent, reflecting higher production at the open cut operations, which were impacted by unseasonal wet weather in 2022.

Iron ore production increased by 9 per cent, principally driven by strong operational performance at the Minas-Rio operations, where production increased by 29 per cent.

Nickel production decreased by 4 per cent, reflecting the impact of lower grades.

AngloAmerican also reported that rough diamond production decreased by 5 per cent, as a result of strong operational performance being offset by expected lower production from its Venetia facility, as it transitions to underground operations.

Production from Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) operations decreased by 9 per cent, mainly driven by short-term operational challenges and 2022 planned infrastructure closures at Amandelbult, as well as the planned ramp-down of Kroondal.

Anglo American Chief Executive, Duncan Wanblad, said that AngloAmerican’s focus remains resolutely on safely achieving its full year production guidance through the seasonally stronger second half of the year. 

“The recent changes to our executive leadership team, coupled with re-organising how we manage our production businesses and the functional expertise that supports them, better positions us to drive safe and consistent operational performance and strategic delivery over the longer term.”

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